While on the one hand some advocate the traditional requirement and the homework and the exams, for the other there have also been schools without homework, parents who prefer less traditional and more practical for their children, alternatives to the exams, and, in general, is bet by a greater attention to the state of mind of the students.
In the center of the debate is a question: what are the studies, causing stress to young people? Is this more of what it was in the past or we are exagerándolo? Let’s take a look at the studies to know what there is of truth behind the discussion about anxiety in the classroom.
What is true is that many children today do not stop: you could say that among the duties, the growing number of school subjects, extracurricular classes and support… the little ones are overloaded.
This is indicated by some studies as one of the World Health Organization, in which have been compared to data from 36 different countries to determine that the academic pressure has increased since the year 2000 and that this may affect the health, self-esteem and confidence of the students (a lot more than 17 years ago). The same report notes that young people are very dependent on the support of their parents, which from another point of view could also be seen as an opportunity.
What stresses to young people?
During the years of study, the classrooms and everything that surrounds their education will become the center of the lives of these young people. Spend in school most of the time, many eat there and have their friends in that environment. But the school is not only important from the point of view of its social life, it is also the first place where they receive scores depending on their abilities and this is the determining factor. Competitiveness is healthy and natural and can be good, but sometimes can become afraid and even in a hotbed of stress.
Students feel a lot of pressure to live up to in the college, approve and have your homework done on time. They want to prove their worth. That pressure is self-imposed is in addition also on occasions what they get from their parents and teachers. Often it is indirect and unconscious: the teachers want their students to be the best, and the parents still more.
The problems of anxiety are not heritage of the adults, it can affect people of all ages and in children, as in adults, the response to the tests or to a high burden of work is more dependent on each individual: while some find it a challenge motivating and it helps them to improve their performance, others are subjected to a stress that does not know how to handle.
How to identify a situation of anxiety in the classroom
It is best to stay attentive and, especially in periods such as exams, when stress is very high and the pressure is at maximum, there are monitoring some symptoms that can help detect it:
Negative thoughts: ideas exaggerated about the effect that it will have a bad note, as, for example, believe that for a thriller, you will not get ever work or repeat the course. Fear being left blank during the exam, to disappoint the parents, or the fact that everyone in the class know more than he does himself. Are negative emotions that can lead to irritability or loss of sleep.
Physical symptoms: tense muscles, tremors or small tics and conditions that are caused by the stress, such as palpitations in the eyes. May also appear cramps, stomach pain, excessive sweating and even mental block or headache.
Behaviors disruptive: the loss of focus or excessive distractions can be another symptom, which may even be present during the exam, making it more difficult for the student to understand and process the questions and, therefore, affect the final performance.
It is estimated that this anxiety can affect the 15% or 25% of the pupils of school age and according to some it can reach to influence them even in everyday situations outside the tests and, in the worst cases, creating negative effects such as fear be assessed in situations a job interview, the presentation of a project or the time of closing a deal work. This would occur in extreme cases of reduction of the self-esteem and loss of motivation, which are overcome by fear and anxiety.
What can you do?
In recent years, the society has been more aware of the problem and have developed studies and research and, above all, it has begun to look for solutions. Many of these jobs provide a positive fact: a certain level of anxiety moderate can even improve productivity, pushing the competitiveness healthy and the eagerness of overcoming. However, if it is very high, is maintained over time and leads to failures can be dangerous. This is why it is important to know strategies that will help parents and children to cope and overcome it.
Strengthen the self-confidence: children who believe they can succeed are confident in their chances. This is something that should be promoted at home, giving the exams, the actual importance that they have, making sure that they are not determinants in the self-esteem of the students and that the important thing is to do the best that they can. A formula very effective to achieve this is to make a list of things that have already been achieved to remind the student of what he is capable of. Other options are to give a feedback ispositive when it has been earned, help you set goals are realistic or to educate you in the concept of “try again” to not come down when there is a blip, a disappointment or a failure.
Close relationship between teachers and students: teachers should take the time necessary to familiarize students with the test formats, so that you are not confronted with something they don’t understand when it comes to the key moment. Practice with them, know who you are, the more stress they suffer and to motivate them with positive processes. A small conversation before the test can help them to gain confidence and calm down.
Encourage them with activities that are more enriching and entertaining that requires your active participation, such as group projects or joint reviews. It is another idea with which they are experiencing some of the teachers, who will be able to check out what the student knows of the subject in a more relaxed atmosphere, fun and relaxed. This will make the student feel more comfortable, being able to demonstrate their knowledge in a more effective way and applied.
Planning the leisure hours: many hours of study does not always equate to better grades. In this, as in so many other things, the performance of the effort can be decreasing. In fact, sometimes the anxiety appears precisely because young people do not learn to rest and relax to wake up the brain. To feel good and perform to the maximum, it is necessary to intersperse the work with leisure activities that allow for disconnect and download tensions. The ideal would be to do a 30-minute break for each hour studied, so that the little ones can settle what is learned in the brain, but this recommendation can vary for each child, and also changes with time: when the students grow up they are able to concentrate for more time.
Practice relaxation exercises: if the index of tension of the student are very high and cannot be controlled with techniques such as exposed to the solution may be to go to a professional who will teach you relaxation techniques specific.
While it is important that the young people learn to manage that anxiety and that stress for themselves, we should not forget the role of the adult: they are the ones who must give them the tools necessary to learn how to deal with the nerves, make them see that your life does not depend on a single exam.