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How to Help When a Student is Failing
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  1. How to Help When a Student is Failing

  2. Impact on Students and Educators • Students who are not passing cause stress for themselves and their fieldwork educators. • Educators feel torn between their commitments to students and clients. • Supervisors want students to be successful, but those who do not show entry-level competencies by the end of rotations CANNOT pass. • Students must meet the requirements of each site, and supervisors should take action when performances are not acceptable.

  3. Suggestions for Supervisors • Kramer & Stern (1995) recommend: • Provide students with specific, direct feedback that can be used in a systematic and goal directed way • Describe why actions intefere with development and are not conducive to meeting expectations • If problems do not improve, contact Lisa Tekell, Academic Fieldwork Coordinator • (901) 448-8072 •

  4. Dealing with Problem Behaviors • McCreedy & Graham (1997) suggest: • Identify problems and discuss with fieldwork coordinator; initiate use of weekly feedback logs for the student. • Try to resolve problems by meeting with the student and clearly articulating concerns with examples; utilize feedback logs. • Focus on performance issues rather than personal problems, and conclude by developing a plan of action that identifies how the student will change and sets measurable performance objectives. • Keep notes of the meeting and have both of you sign and date the summary.

  5. Dealing with Problem Behaviors • McCreedy & Graham (1997) also suggest: • Collaborate with the school; contact Lisa Tekell, Academic Fieldwork Coordinator, to discuss the situation. • (901) 448-8072 • • Do not hesitate to call; the longer you wait, the more likely the student will be unsuccessful within the designated fieldwork completion period. • Lisa may meet with the supervisor and student to review the action plans and progress as well as weekly feedback forms. You may collectively complete a behavioral contract at this time. • Conduct regular weekly or biweekly meetings with the student to measure progress toward goals and provide feedback. Keep accurate notes of these meetings.

  6. Dealing with Problem Behaviors • McCreedy & Graham (1997) also suggest: • If the student is not making sufficient progress, a meeting between the supervisor, student, and Academic Fieldwork Coordinator Lisa Tekell is warranted. • Decisions need to be made about possibilities of success/failure. • Options to consider include extending the fieldwork time if the student can progress or terminating the fieldwork with a failing grade.

  7. Creating a Paper Trail • Accurate, adequate documentation is VERY important when a student is failing. • Weekly feedback forms and behavioral contracts provide written evidence about the quality of supervision and feedback given to the student. • These provide evidence that the student was informed early of the need to improve and objective measures of the student’s performance. • Save examples of the student’s unacceptable written work. • Add any observations about performance. • If you received feedback from other departments, make a written note including the behaviors, date and place, witness, and outcome.

  8. Creating a Paper Trail • Use your facility’s employee handbook consequences of unprofessional behaviors for guidance. • Any inappropriate behaviors that jeopardize a client’s safety or confidentiality should be noted and dealt with immediately. • You may utilize the AOTA professional Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice as guides for documenting infractions. • Students should be asked to sign and date infraction forms to avoid their denial of receiving the information. • Notify Lisa Tekell, Academic Fieldwork Coordinator immediately. • (901) 448-8072 •

  9. Assistance for Fieldwork Supervisors • You are not alone in the process! • Academic Fieldwork Coordinator Lisa Tekell will guide you through provision of adequate supervision for the OT student. • When things are going well, little intervention is needed. • When issues arise and the student does not make performance changes, Lisa Tekell should be called immediately to help both of you work through the issues, assure objective measures are utilized, and provide resources. • Phone: (901) 448-9072 • Fax: (901) 448-3236 • Email: