"We are living a public life on a global stage, the ones who can express themselves best, will be heard." -Laura Hill Timpanaro, Artist, Author, Educator

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Taking Stress Out Of The Classroom

#WhatIsSchool April 27, 2017 7PM EDT
The powerful impact of STRESS

"I can't never do the part with the take-away numbers. I did all the problems real fast and she put big red X's on them and said I wasn't trying. And I started crying inside but I couldn't because they would all see." (8-year-old) (Allen & Klein, Ready-Set Relax, 1996, p.3)

Stress, we've all felt it.  A knot grows in your stomach as thoughts race over scenarios and outcomes.  You begin to sweat your anxiety grows. You feel dizzy, nauseous as time tightens and performance declines. However stress manifests we've all felt it and to some degree have learned to cope with it, but what about our students?

According to a study conducted by John Hopkins University stress manifests in virtually every aspect of a child's life.  Broken families and lack of family time spent together, over scheduling, excessive screen time, exposure to violence in media, pressure to perform beyond abilities as well as peer pressure, physical appearance, failing exams and unrealistic classroom demands are major contributors to student stress.  Sometimes teachers are not aware of student circumstances or how their own actions can impact student's stress and add to the anxiety.

Stress on students and teachers can take a toll.

"The effects of stress on students' physical health and academic success are widespread, affecting physiology, health behaviors, and cognition. These consequences can then impact students' physical health, mental health, and academic performance," said authors Nilani L. Shankar & Crystal L. Park In a paper published in the International Journal of School and Educational Psychology in February 2016.

So what can we do?

Join me Laura Hill (@candylandcaper) as #whatisschool looks at ways to de-stress your classroom, your students and yourself, especially at the end of the year when finals and high stake testing take their toll.  

#WhatIsSchool April 27, 2017 7PM EDT

1) How do you know when students are getting stressed out? 
What do you do when you are?

2) What can you do to give students breaks to de-stress without rewarding bad behavior?

3) How can you change the classroom environment, your tone or the class atmosphere to reduce stress?

4) What can you do to reduce the stress of student workload and still meet scholastic requirements?

5) How can parents and communities help reduce student stress?

6) How can teachers reduce their stress?

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