Increased anxiety with new situations/tasks


  1. Provide clear specific directions ie: “ Please make 10 copies of the calendar for me and place them in the folder marked Calendar.”
  2. Be mindful of providing only the amount of directions that the student can handle at a time. Refer to the Student’s Profile Sheet for helpful strategies.
  3. Post written or graphic instructions in areas where the student can refer to them. It can be very beneficial to provide step by step directions verbally and in writing. This may be done in several ways such as drawings, signs, maps and color coding are just a few.
  4. Check lists can be very helpful for the student. Create a daily routine of tasks with specific times for doing those tasks. This facilitates independence and self-monitoring.
  5. Ask the student to repeat directions back to you to insure that they understand.
  6. Have the student demonstrate the task while you watch and encourage him/her to ask questions.
  7. Suggest that the student write down instructions in a notebook. This tool can be used for questions they want to ask as well as other information that will assist them.
  8. To assure that you have the student’s attention while giving directions, make sure that person is maintaining good eye contact even for brief moments. This is true for when you are giving a demonstration as well.
  9. Most of our students do well with tasks that are done routinely. Try to provide opportunities for repetition and review of instructions.
  10. For projects that involve several steps, such as putting a packet of information together, provide the student with a finished sample that can be used as a model.
  11. Present information as clear and simple as possible and allow time to process the information.
  12. It is important to provide ample time for the student to process information whether it is verbal or in writing.
  13. Information should be provided as clear and simple as possible. Using too many words or phrases may overwhelm the student. Also be aware of the rate of speed in which you are speaking. Speaking too fast may do the same.
  14. Many of our students can be easily distracted. A work area that does not have excessive noise or conversation would help them maintain attention.
  15. To minimize anxiety for the student, try to prepare them ahead of time about any changes in the schedule or workplace.
  16. Have a procedure in place for when the supervisor is not there, so that the student will know who to report to and from whom he or she will receive work. Also inform your staff of the plan.
  17. Allowing the student to experience success can be achieved by choosing tasks that are meaningful and achievable.
  18. Always begin with a positive statement before giving critical feedback.
  19. It is essential to become familiar with the student’s abilities. This can be through observation, periodic review of the Student’s Profile Sheet and speaking to the Internship Coordinator. Task Expectation should be REALISTIC for the student to be successful.
  20. When making suggestions for a change in behavior or performance, be aware of your body language and make a request rather than a command.
  21. Share the “Student Profile Sheet” with the staff and inform them of the student’s arrival and what to expect from the student.
  22. Provide the student with a list of names, contact and department information with whom they will be working with.
  23. Schedule routine meeting with yourself and the student. This will provide an opportunity to discuss performance, ask questions and give feedback.
  24. Suggest the student write down questions that come to mind in a notebook if you find that the student impulsively asks questions at inappropriate times.
  25. Introduce the student to the staff upon arrival to make the student feel more comfortable. Give the student a tour of the facility pointing out the different areas they may be working in as well.
  26. Knowing what to do during down time can be difficult for our students, have a plan for times when the work is slow such as on-going projects and back up tasks.
  27. Establish a routine so that the student knows what he or she is supposed to do. Some supervisors provide a folder for work that “needs to be done”.
  28. Maintain ongoing communication with the Internship Coordinator via the routine visits, e-mail and telephone calls to insure that questions or problems can be addressed as soon as they arise.

Last Modified: 7/27/18