Stress on Students


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  • In stressful times what can we as teachers do? Discussion Notes prepared for West End State School March 2003. This document was prepared by Dr John Worthington Psychologist, Educational Consultant and Guidance Officer in March 2003 and is available at: Permission is given for use for non-profit educational purposes, with acknowledgment of the author.
  • Stress on Students

    1. 1. In stressful times what can we as teachers do? STRESS ON STUDENTS
    2. 2. In stressful times what can we as teachers do? That every one is affected We need to care for ourselves to be able to support others All children are affected but their experience is unique Adults can control the impact of media to some extent
    3. 3. Listen to children and acknowledge their emotions Use relaxation strategies to help manage stress Seek out information about how stress can manifest in children and adults Keep issues in the broader context Collect resources Know your responsibilities and limitations
    4. 4. EvERyONE iS affEcTED Understand that the issues and information which affect our thinking and functioning also has an effect on the children we teach, their parents, careers and others.
    5. 5. Understand that we need to consider and look after out own mental and physical health and recognize we are as vulnerable as others in our school community. While we need take a professional interest to become informed about world issues we also need to become more informed about how those issues can impact on us and others in our school community. We need to care for ourselves to be able to support others
    6. 6.  As part of personal care everyone needs to emphasize good health and wellbeing routines. Children and adults should maintain good regular nutrition and get regular adequate sleep. Individuals feeling physically sick, worried, depressed should consult their family doctor.
    7. 7. All children Are Affected but their experience is unique Acknowledge that the children in our classrooms are all affected by the current stresses but that what they experience as individuals will be unique. The child's own resilience will also determine the long and short term impact on them.
    8. 8. Children's own prior experiences will have a part to play in how they are affected and how they cope. In particular apparently unrelated and possibly issues unknown to teachers may arise in the context of the current situation. These issues may relate to current or earlier experiences of grief and loss. While these experiences can be profound and variable (e.g. death of someone known to the child, family separation, family dislocation, illness, abuse experienced or witness by the child, death of a pet etc), the impact on the child will not necessarily be in proportion to the experience.
    9. 9. Adults cAn control the impAct of mediA to some extent Because of the overwhelming presence the media in our lives and in our school community and expediential increase in 'information' relating to world events it is advisable to place limits on what children see and hear in terms of traumatic world events.
    10. 10. Remember that children do not necessarily have to be sitting in front of the TV to be traumatized. They will be affected if the TV or radio is on in the 'background', when there are news updates and if there are newsflashes. Children will see pictures in the newspapers and may read captions and stories.
    11. 11. Acknowledge their emotions Individually listen to children and acknowledge the feelings which go with what they are saying. Encourage children to talk to their parents or others at home about what they are thinking. In the context of the classroom don't attempt to give overt 'counseling' or 'therapy’.
    12. 12. The depth of a child's reactions and feelings may not be evident in an informal exchange and if the child is left without emotional security after a 'talk' they may then be more at risk. Keep track of the emotions of the class and if specific needs arise ask for help. Note in a low key way if the behaviour of individual children changes. Some children may be expressing violent thoughts through what they are saying, their interactions with peers, in their writing and drawings.
    13. 13. AdditionAl Points Use relaxation strategies to help manage stress Use relaxation strategies to help manage stress. Become better informed about how stress manifests in children and adults. Remember to keep the issues in the broader context of all the events (negative, neutral and positive) and experiences surrounding the child. Collect and use resources which are readily accessible on the internet
    14. 14. BY :- Deepal Patel Primary Section