It's a hard pill to swallow that we as teachers may inadvertently make our students more anxious by our behaviors or attitudes. But the first step toward avoiding such a mistake is taking a hard look at how research has shown teachers can actually be contributing to anxiety among students, rather than alleviating it.
Obviously, some anxiety goes far beyond natural nervousness brought on by upcoming tests or other stressors. However, this article, written for students themselves, would be good reading and a conversation starter for classes with students who are struggling with various levels of anxiety.
We are teachers, not doctors, so sometimes we need some medical advice on the symptoms we observe in our students. This brief primer on the anxiety disorders experienced by many children can help get teachers started on a journey from awareness to greater expertise.
It can be difficult to deal with anxiety in our students, but when it comes to teenagers, the problem becomes even more challenging. This list of warnings identifies some classic mistakes to avoid in reaching out to anxious teens.