GRADES: Pay attention to sudden changes in grades for students who have done well previously. Their sudden lack of interest in academic subjects may signal trouble. Also, watch for students who give you clues, such as “I can’t get work done at home; everyone’s always yelling”. They be asking you to get them some assistance. Sometimes, students who are overly concerned about getting good grades are under tremendous pressure.
ATTENDANCE:Students with attendance or tardiness problems may be experiencing real difficulties at home. Pay special attention to students who can’t make it to early-morning classes or who always cuts the classes after lunch.
DISTRUPTIVE BEHAIVOR IN YOUR CLASSROOM: Think of the two or three students who cause the most trouble in your classroom and jot down a quick referral to SAP. Often, students who play the class clown, who are disruptive, or who command all of your attention are masking real emotional pain.
INVOLVMENT WITH THE DISCIPLINARY SYSTEM: Students who keep getting in trouble may, in fact, be troubled. If you have repeatedly thrown a student out of class, and it doesn’t seem to be getting you anywhere, try a referral to SAP, as well.
LEGAL PROBLEMS: If a student tells you that he can’t make your test on Thursday because he has to go to court for his assault case, you may choose to make a referral to SAP. Many legal difficulties begin, or are exacerbated by alcohol and other drug use. Angry students who are troubled, often work out their anger by rebelling.
PROBLEMS WITH EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES: If you are an advisor and have watched a student’s interest and participation dwindle; consider making a referral to SAP. Such declining interests may signal trouble.
PROBLEMS AT HOME: If you know that a student is dealing with a difficult situation at home, make a referral to SAP. Often, there are other students who are dealing with the same issues, and your student can be reassured by speaking with them.
ALCOHOL OR OTHER DRUG- SPECIFIC BEHAVIORS OR INDICATIONS: If a student talks freely about his or her alcohol or other drug use, or you overhear a student telling a friend about how messed up he or she was on Friday, make a referral to SAP. The student may be giving you that information in the hopes that that you will respond.