3 Ways to Overcome Stressful Situations in The Classroom
A classroom is a place where most individuals engage in attaining new information and interacting with others for a particular purpose. Stress, one of the major causes of various illnesses, can arise from both the teacher and the students within the classroom. Often times, when the stress level rises, the level of interest in the task ahead is usually reduced and the task remains undone or the individual simply quits. This end result can, however, be avoided as the purpose for learning in to eventually gain a greater understanding of the information being taught. The essay will, therefore, focus on ways to overcome stressful situations in a classroom.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Princesella C. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
1. Setting Goals
One of the essential ways to overcome stressful situations in a classroom is to set attainable goals. Individuals set goals for various reasons but when it comes to the classroom, the approach can sometimes allow stress to occur as daily or weekly goals for learning are not set. These goals relate to both the learner and the teacher. The learner should try to set goals that he/she knows can be achieved. By setting these goals, the learner can overcome the stress of not being able to accomplish tasks when they are given. They can also use these goals as a way of challenging themselves and also awarding themselves for a job well done which can improve their self-esteem. Similarly, the teacher can set goals as to what he/she wishes to accomplish whether it be at the end of a day, lesson or week. Doing lesson plans is one of the ways in which a teacher can set short-term goals. This encourages teachers to always be prepared for class as the mission is to ensure that the information being taught is well received. Therefore, once both the learner and the teacher set manageable short-term goals, the level of stress being faced within the classroom can be reduced significantly.
2. Create a Fun Atmosphere
Additionally, adding laughter to the classroom can contribute to overcoming stressful situations. In the midst of stress, it is important to simply take a moment to laugh. This laughing is not to make fun of the work being taught but to simply make learning enjoyable. In my experience as a teacher, being able to laugh at a mistake, whether it was made by myself or a student, allowed everyone to see that it is common to make a mistake and be able to laugh at yourself instead of being angry or upset. This level of comfort within a classroom contributes to maintaining a positive and exciting learning environment for the student. Students cope better in an environment that is less stressful and more enjoyable. One way of adding laughter to overcome stress is by the teacher having ice breaker activities that are at the students’ level based on age and interest. This will alleviate the tension that may be occupying the mind of students, especially when beginning a new topic or having to interact with unfamiliar individuals. It is, therefore, crucial to include laughter in the classroom in aid of overcoming stressful situations.
Also Read: How much can I earn teaching English abroad?
3. Speak Your Heart Out
Furthermore, an attempt to overcome stressful situations in the classroom, one should consider speaking to someone. There are individuals who may not respond well to other alternatives, (as previously mentioned) and may require a deeper intervention into their stressful situation. For such students, this is where the teacher plays a vital role because the students may need to express to the teacher the level of stress they are experiencing. The teacher would then have to decide whether the stress is due to the way he/she conducts the lesson or if the problem stems from a situation outside of the classroom. This is why it is important for the student to speak with someone so that the can get the necessary help. On the other hand, in a case where the teacher is the one who is in the stressful situation and needs to speak to someone, they will need to get professional help outside of the classroom as it is unethical for the teacher to reach out to students for help. Although the students may have contributed to the stress, a teacher should never resort to punishing students when he/she is stressed but instead make an effort to speak to someone who can professionally assist. Overall, both the teacher and the student can experience stressful situations in the classroom so it is crucial that they speak to someone about the situation.
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In conclusion, there are a number of ways that one can overcome stressful situations in the classroom. While stress can affect the teacher and the learner in different ways, it is important to know the solutions available are there to ensure that the teaching and learning process is a smooth one which is beneficial to all individuals involved. I will end by using a quote which my students recite at the beginning of every class “I Dare to be Greater than my Expectations.”
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