Fears can keep students from taking chances and unfortunately keep them from experiences that may enrich their lives. In school, students are faced with numerous situations that may cause them fear or anxiety.
“It is our job to teach students how to handle these fears.”
Without direction students become adults who are unable to handle stress, anxiety, and difficult situations. If we start teaching students how to deal with stressful situations at a very young age, it will come naturally later on in their lives.
What are some example stressful situations faced by our students within the school setting or that affect their school performance?
- Meeting new friends
- Work overload
- Little down time
- High states testing… (for all of us)
- Peer issues
- Organizational frustrations
- Learning difficulties
- Focus and attention issues
- A LOT of rules
- Constant noise
- Collaborative projects
- Family stress
- Extra curricular activities
- Busy home schedules
- Living in multiple homes within the week
These just touch the surface of the numerous stressors our students face each and every day. When students have no tools to turn to in help with handling this stress, they can feel failure…hence adding to their stress.
In my classroom, I was noticing this stress and lack of knowing how to “get through” it was bogging my students down to the point that learning was halted. I teach struggling readers each and every day and the one thing my students voice to me over and over again is that they have SO much to do and So little time. Add a reading problem to the mix, and the stress becomes even greater. Ugh!!
Offer my students lessons and activities on how to handle these types of situations.
I vowed to incorporate lesson on healthy habits within my reading curriculum. So far we have learned about stress and fears, and their beautiful opposites…bravery and courage.
Today we discussed ways to overcome our fears/stressors. How can we you ask?
Create 5 Finger Fear Fighters!
The Fear Fighter (monster-like picture) is represented by each student’s hand print. A tool they will ALWAYS have with them.
- We discussed ways to deal with stress and fears and assigned them to a finger or a thumb on our hands.
- We practiced breathing techniques, “self-talk” strategies, planning, and focusing.
Here is an example of our 5 Finger Fear Fighter!
I taught this to students ages 5-11. All understood the concept and we will revisit this idea often especially when we see it happening in our classroom. It will take time, but planting a seed of awareness is complete. Now its time to water it, nurture it, and watch it grow!
Here is a copy of the lesson if you’d like to give it a try. Click HERE or on the photo.
I hope this lesson helps your students feel success and triumph over their fears and moves them into that healthy state of mind necessary for real learning to take place.
Be sure to let us know how your lesson went! We’d love to hear from you!
Join us to spread the word by using the hashtag:
Until the next post…