Learning is fun and exciting. However, there are some instances when young students become anxious because of pressure and other factors. Some anxiety is unavoidable as kids learn new things and are placed in unfamiliar situations. Today’s teachers must know the basics of dealing with anxious students.
Signs of Anxiety in Children
Knowing the signs of anxiety in children is the first step in dealing with this problem. In some instances, tantrums might be a sign of anxiety. Panic attacks, refusal to go to school or join activities, or sudden emotional change are other signs of a potential anxiety problem. Other indicators include poor school performance and tiredness in class. Teachers should consult with parents to identify symptoms that may not be observable when children are in school.
How Teachers Can Help
Here are some ways teachers can help their anxious students:
- Implement Mindful Practices
Mindfulness is not only beneficial for adults but children as well. Teach students to practice mindfulness in everything they do. Staying in the moment and focusing on the task at hand are great ways to deal with anxiety. Teachers can highlight the importance of letting go of stray thoughts that are not needed at the moment. Focusing on what is in front of students is one way to lessen stress and the fear of missing out.
- Promote Positive Thinking
Some students experience anxiety because of fear. Many do not want to deal with the responsibilities in front of them because they are afraid of failure. Teachers can counter defeatist attitudes by promoting positive thinking. Help students look at the positive side of things while remaining realistic. Try to be a model for positive thinking and provide a sense of hope for them.
- Include Physical Activities during School Days
One great way to deal with anxiety is by engaging in physical exercise. When students are physically active, their brains release happy hormones that help boost mood. This will help them avoid feeling anxious. Physical activities such as exercise, dancing, running, and active playing are perfect alternatives for children who are getting bored of sitting inside the classroom.
- Introduce Other Activities
When children do the same thing every day, they become bored and anxious. It is important to come up with other exciting and creative activities to break the routine. One option is to introduce them to music lessons. This way, they will be able to appreciate singing and playing instruments. You can also add arts to the activities they can do on breaks. Children have much energy and are willing to try many new and different things.
- Share Stories with Your Students
Storytelling is one of the classic ways to deal with student anxiety. Choose a story to tickle their brains. Be creative in sharing new worlds with students, and you will surely see changes in their mood. One of the positive things about storytelling is the magical way it can change the atmosphere. When children are afraid and anxious, they need a creative distraction.
- Teach the Importance of Time Management
One of the big causes of anxiety in children is deadlines. When children are asked to do things they cannot finish, they will often feel bad about themselves. You can prevent that by teaching them the importance of managing their time. Giving students scheduled activities is one effective way to guide them. Provide realistic deadlines and check on their progress.
- Give Them Support to Enjoy Learning
Teacher support is a significant element of learning. Show them you are there every step of the way. Showing support includes asking them how they feel, giving them advice and guidance, and adding small gestures to show you care. Students sometimes do not trust themselves. They need a little push to accomplish the things you ask of them.
- Provide Cool-down Spaces in the Classroom or “Cool-down Passes” for a Quick Break
Many school activities can be stressful for children. Giving them a few moments of cool-down time reduces stress. There should be a cool-down space in the classroom. Just choose a comfortable spot where students can go whenever they need a little peace. Add a rule for students to get cool-down passes once a day when they need it. Allow them to take a quick break, especially after doing something very stressful.
Learning should not only be about absorbing all the information in the books. It has to be a fun-filled experience in which children are engaged. There are many fun ways to teach. It helps to let children explore and enjoy their day as you teach them. Anxiety is something that cannot be avoided in daily life. However, there are many different ways to lessen its harmful effects on children in the classroom.
About the Author: Curtis Dean writes on behalf of Sage Music School, where they base lessons on the science and research of the psychology of learning. Their effective teaching methods create confident and capable students who enjoy the happiness of making music.
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