Best practice tips for emotion

Best practice tips are strategies that have been evaluated in other settings, target a relevant factor (such as a teaching style that lowers student anxiety), or is considered best practice by experts in the field.

Focus on students' strengths to build self-esteem

Acknowledging students’ unique abilities, strengths or interests regularly may encourage students to have a positive sense of self, building their resilience and ability to cope. 

Consider including a student’s strengths in their learning goals or when using our evidence-based strategies. Our inclusive questions outlines how strengths can be utilised with a student's goals. 

Make the most of uncomfortable situations or emotions

Uncomfortable situations and emotions can be opportunities for students to learn to manage emotions or cope with difficult experiences. 

Once a student has calmed down or a situation is resolved, discuss what emotions they felt and what actions they could take to prevent the situation occurring again or how to manage their emotions. Use our problem solving guide to support students to develop a plan for challenging situations. 

Validate emotions

If a student experiences an emotion that might be considered ‘negative’, let them know that it is okay to feel this emotion and they are not doing anything wrong by feeling that way. It may also help to let them know the emotion they are feeling is not permanent and will pass. 

Emotion card games

Emotion card games can help students learn to identify and describe emotions. They can also help to identify common ways that emotions feel in the body. If a student is struggling to find words to describe how they feel, consider using our emotion cards as a way for them to communicate.