When mentoring our pre-service and in-service teachers we need to describe and model both research-based and clinically tested best practices. Accordingly, our mentees should know how to empower students to control their negative feelings so that those feelings do not disrupt classroom instruction. SUDS (Subjective Units of Distress System)* is one of several teacher interventions designed to empower students to achieve self-control over their negative thoughts, and counter-productive behaviors that disrupt classroom instruction.
Preparatory Procedures Before Implementing the SUDS Program
Before the SUDS program is actually implemented, the teacher may want the student to complete “My SUDS Level Chart” to demonstrate that he or she understands his or her level of anxiety. A sample chart appears at the top of this post.
In addition, before implementing of the SUDS program, the student should be expected to create his or her own SUDS Action Plan that describes the actions he or she intends to take when he or she experiences different levels of anxiety. See My School SUDS Action Plan example at the top of the post as well.
After the student has given sufficient evidence that he or she understands how to monitor his or her levels of distress, and has developed an action plan to control his or her anxiety in a reasonable period of time (e.g. five minutes or less), the SUDS program is implemented, and then evaluated over time.
 This activity was generated from the Self-Management Task Force sponsored by the Maryland State Department of Education, Pupil Services Branch, 1985-1986.
On the next post we will begin sharing some teacher interventions that can be applied when a student’s disruptive behavior is related to the anti-social skills the student uses in class.