Sprinkles of the Sundae to ease anxiety in class?

I hear a lot lately from fellow teachers how anxious students rule in class disturbing their lesson, making them feel guilty for not combining educational pleasure with happiness. But, hold on happiness has nothing to do with pleasure or does it?  It really seems difficult to ease a student’s anxiety in class even if you treat him/her sweets, or bring memories of happy times in mind. I am of the opinion that students carry their family’s issues in class so happiness is connected with how the  other members of the family feel. Although being at school seems to be a pleasure when they step in students suddenly realize that  they are out of their comfort zone, the one the family “rules” have taught them to follow obediently.

Moms seem to not accept the fact that when a child faces serious set backs every time he/she is obliged to step out of his comfort zone in order to experience happiness at school. I have such an incident of a great 7 year old girl, Demi that’s her name,  who fears of judgement.She exhibits her lack of concentration in many ways like shaking hands, being embarrassed while staring the wall, she is almost every single minute ready to hear comments and show signs of great worry at the same time regarding other students’ feelings. After studying many articles about her situation, discussing with her parents, urging them to see a specialist to let aside the possibility of a learning difficulty that is hiding somewhere there, I finally had a meeting with her, just the two of us.

Well, revelations don’t come so easy as we think, to rephrase Phill Collins song “You can’t hurry Love”. A teacher has to be prepared to push students to start resolving their fears unraveling their emotional world on  how they feel by developping certain study habits at the same time.

Stressing over every situation that reading involves is a waste of time but the main point for the student is to realize that. My attitude towards her is more positive now than ever before and I try to make that known to her in any way possible. Just yesterday I found out that by giving Questions time to BREATHE, as  Jeff Foster’s beautiful quote reminded to me , the ANSWERS will find me.

 Receiving positive feedback by whole class is another idea that can make things work out, it’s a great feeling to have students singing encouraging mottos to her so she appeases her anxiety, stay focused on her exercises and absolve herself from too much worry. Relaxation techniques allowed to Demi to regulate her breath, relax her muscles, stop biting that pencil, stop having her eraser crumbed to disintegration or stabbed repeatedly with pencil marks or seeing an entire hole through her eraser with the pencil still stuck in it. Devoting some time to crafts is another idea of mine to ease Demi’s tension bring the smile back to her face and let her loose to feel the sprinkles of love and security.

Reasonable expectations can bring great results and a good system of rewards will surely bear fruits. Rainbow sprinkles of Sundae can be a real treat if served right. So, till next friday’s Rock Post start serving them or better Sprinkle your self with LOVE and Understanding!

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