Teaching Guideline: Coping with Anxiety

Teaching Guideline: Coping with Anxiety

  • Use competition carefully
    • Examples:
      1. Monitor activities to make sure no students/children are being put under undue pressure
      2. During competitive games, make sure all children involved have a reasonable chance of succeeding
  • Avoid situations in which highly anxious students will have to perform in front of large groups.
    • Examples:
      1. Ask anxious students question that can be answered with a simple yes or no, or some other brief reply.
      2. Give anxious students practice in speaking before smaller groups.
  • Make sure all instructions are clear. Uncertainty can lead to anxiety.
    • Examples:
      1. Check with students to make sure they understand. Ask several students how they would do the task. Correct any misconceptions.
      2. If you are starting a new type of task, give students examples or models to show how it is done.
  • Avoid unnecessary time pressures.
    • Examples: Make sure all students can complete task within the period given.
  • Remove some of the pressures from major tests and exams.
    • Examples:
      1. Teach test-taking skills; give practice tests; provide study guides.
      2. Make extra credit work available to add points to course grades.
      3. Use different types of items in testing because some students have difficulty with particular formats.
  • Develop alternatives to written test.
    • Examples:
      1. Try oral, open book, or group tests.
      2. Have students do projects, organize portfolios of their work, make oral presentations, or create a finished product.

Reference: Woolfolk, A. “Educational Psychology” 8th edition.


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