In my many years of working with students, anxiety is something I have seen manifest in a number of ways.
As a parent, I’ve seen numerous children struggle with anxiety, from toddlers up through teens.
And personally, anxiety is something I have battled myself for over 30 years. It’s something my kids struggle with. And my husband. And my sisters.
So when I saw that Advancement Courses offers a 3-graduate-credit course called Strategies for Addressing Student Anxiety, I knew I had to take it. I knew that as an educator and parent, I could share what I learned in this course with a large number of people who really need support.
I’m betting that more than ever, especially in response to this current pandemic, our students are going to be dealing with anxiety in ways that may be new to them once school resumes as normal.
Teachers and parents need to be equipped with the skills necessary to walk children through this challenging time.
Today, I am so psyched about the latest course I’m taking that I can hardly stand it. This is one that I really believe all educators—and parents!—should take.
Helping Kids Manage Anxiety: One Teacher at a Time
My biggest takeaways from Strategies for Addressing Student Anxiety involve learning about the background of anxiety and a handful of manageable ways of addressing anxiety.
I really think that this knowledge will help me both as a parent and as an educator.
The information I learned about anxiety was really interesting.
- Gender is one of the greatest biological risk factors for anxiety, and when compared to boys, girls are more than twice as likely to suffer from anxiety.
- Children who have parents with anxiety or other mental health disorders are twice as likely to have anxiety compared to their peers.
- Anxiety is the offshoot of the fight, flight, or freeze response—the way our body responds to danger.
- Teachers can best support students with anxiety in a number of ways, but creating a classroom environment that supports individual growth, tolerates mistakes, and highlights learning instead of high-stakes testing is the best preventative measure.
- Anxiety blurs boundaries between parent and child and can cause an incredible amount of stress in the home. Parents worry: Do I give in or demand better coping skills? Is this anxiety real or imagined? Who can I talk to who will take me seriously and offer support?
- Challenging behaviors caused by anxiety must be looked at as symptoms and not the problem.
- Often people have a misconception that anxiety is harmful and needs to be a secret, when in reality some level of anxiety is helpful and expected for all people.
- When dealing with anxious children, families should:
- Increase communication with their child, talking openly about feelings, triggers, and experiences.
- Make it clear that they have confidence in the child’s ability to cope with anxiety.
- Demonstrate an expectation of slightly better coping skills each and every time the child experiences a challenge.
And some strategies I learned for managing anxiety in the classroom were incredibly helpful, including:
- Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 approaches to anxiety are leveled and varied according to different levels of student anxiety.
- Tier 1 approaches are mostly preventative and include communication, chunking, bibliotherapy, and deep breathing and guided imagery, among other strategies.
- Tier 2 approaches should be taught and facilitated by a licensed professional, but they include self-talk, acupressure, competing emotions, time-out, and/or restorative justice.
- Tier 3 approaches also should be initiated and facilitated by a professional, and they include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Desensitization and Exposure Therapy, and/or medication.
- Imagination plays a huge role in anxiety, both in the visual thought causing anxiety and in the ability to combat anxiety.
- When teachers know about the types of anxiety that their students are experiencing, they can support students in a number of ways: encouraging journaling or drawing, engaging in appropriate strategies in the classroom, and offering feedback to families and therapists.
I could go on and on, but you should just take the course yourself!
I’ve shared the reasons I love Advancement Courses before, but if you missed it, do check out my Online PD to Fit Your Busy Schedule post for more.
Advancement Courses is a longtime partner of mine, and it’s safe to say that my love for Advancement Courses only seems to have grown over time.
In short, what I I totally love about Advancement Courses is the:
- Ease of enrollment
- Easy access to my course
- Connection to others in the course
- Flexibility of timeline for the course
- Meaningful content
- Relevance to my professional growth and goals
As part of the teACH Team, I meet every few weeks with fellow team members to talk about topics in education that are relevant and timely today.
Join us for the next online events with the teACh Team!
Monday, 5/11/20: Greg and Amy were live on Instagram talking about the importance of play in the classroom. Check out the replay here.
Tuesday, 5/19/20: The whole teACh Team will be live on Facebook talking about the Advancement Courses professional development courses we are taking. Check out the replay here.
The conversation will be great for both events–join us!
Did you know?
Advancement Courses offers:
- More than 280 graduate-level courses in 20 different subject areas for salary advancement and recertification
- Graduate-credit courses through nine CAEP and regionally accredited university partners so they count in every state
- Letter grades and a transcript directly from the partner institution upon successful course completion
- Online and self-paced format so you can begin anytime (as long as you complete the course within six months)
- 1-, 2-, and 3-credit-hour courses
Discount for YOU!
For my followers, they are offering an exclusive coupon for 20% off if you enter the code TEACHMAMA20 at checkout.
Stay in touch with Advancement Courses:
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Check out previous posts about Advancement Courses:
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fyi: This post was written as part of a partnership with Advancement Courses, but as always, my opinions are all my own, influenced only by my experience as a parent and educator.