The job of a teacher is not an easy one. A teacher must not only be a specialist in his/her subject but must be a truthful, honest healer and facilitator with integrity and humility. It is the job of an effective classroom teacher to know the classroom management skills and put his/her utmost effort into it. Effective teachers know how to create an effective environment that is conducive to educating students.
While classroom organization is crucial, it is also important to understand each pupil’s understanding and cognition level to ensure that your efforts reach out to each child equally. Obviously, all students are different, which is a big challenge for the teachers to cope with. However, an even bigger challenge is identifying and dealing with students who suffer from stress and anxiety.
A large proportion of students experience stress and anxiety on a regular basis. Half of the stress is study-related stress, while it is also usually due to toxic levels of adversity, such as physical, mental, or emotional abuse. This kind of stress preoccupies the students while in class and other times around. It is the responsibility of the teachers to reconcile such students with affinity, gratitude, and ambitiousness.
Following are some tips to deal effectively with stressed students:
1. Make learning relevant, useful, and engaging
A classroom is not a place where teachers come, give a lecture and go, especially in schools. It is a place where students thrive on learning while teachers facilitate this aspiration. But in a classroom setting, where students do not engage in the learning process are usually met with anxiety and frustration.
Research reveals that engaging students in the learning process increases their attention and focus. Therefore, it is imperative for the teachers to make learning relevant, engaging, and useful so that each student is fully indulged in the learning process.
2. Promote social connectivity within the class
The book Social: Why Our Brain Are Wired to Connect states that we humans need to form relationships and communicate the way we need food and shelter to live. A classroom where the teacher encourages useful and productive communication leaves less vacuum for students’ stress. In contrast, if students are unable to communicate effectively out of the fear of the teacher, they become anxious and exasperated.
Also, almost all classes have a few introverts or students who communicate less than the others. Such students are selective, and they participate less in a conversation, or more precisely, contribute to communication after processing what they have taken in. They do not volunteer to share their ideas. These students are most vulnerable to stress and anxiety if they do not get an appropriate medium to express themselves when they want. It is the prime duty of the teachers to improve social connectivity and encourage communication.
3. Acknowledge students’ efforts
Let’s face it. Students are terribly afraid of making mistakes and looking stupid in front of their peers, especially in schools. The teachers who scold students in front of the whole class do not realize the scary outcomes on the child’s mindset. The esteem of such students gets hurt, which shatters their confidence, making them escape social interactions and prefer isolation and solitude. The teacher must therefore empathize and be amiable to their students. They must encourage their students for their efforts and correct their mistakes without making them feel guilty for them.
While it is essential to promote social interaction, it is also very important to give the students time to make them, especially the stressed-out ones, realize that they have someone who can listen to their thoughts, ideas, or problems. Every student, especially in school, needs an adult for guidance and supervision. Giving time to students, listening to them, and sharing valuable insights can help the students release stress of any kind.
5. Limit Workload
When you, as a teacher, realize that the students are stressed out, try to evaluate and figure out if that is not an outcome of your actions. Giving tasks to students to practise is fair, but if that leads to an unnecessary burden on students, you need to hold up your horses. For example, the tasks of essay writing exercises are given to students regularly by English teachers. However, they do not realize that this burden can limit the students’ creativity and impact their style of writing an essay,because the students will no longer write essays to sharpen their skills but to complete a daily task. As a result, they head on to custom essay writing services. For this reason, the teachers must make a reasonable lesson plan that can work effectively.
The teachers have the responsibility to create a conducive and inclusive environment for learning. In doing so, they must pay special attention to the stressed students who are unable to communicate, participate, and thus perform up to their abilities.