The exam period is here and in just a matter of weeks, all those currently teaching in the UK will have to watch as their pupils sit their SATs, GCSEs and A-levels. Ahead of these tests, you may have to deal with a number of stressed-out students who are struggling to cope with the pressure. Rather than accept that this is just part and parcel of the exam period, you should instead take it upon yourself to help relieve their anxiety. With this in mind, here are three teaching hacks to assist stressed-out students.
Offer a range of non-school advice
You shouldn’t take for granted that the parents will be on the ball when it comes to helping their children outside of school. Therefore, don’t miss the opportunity to offer some non-school advice to your students. For example, you could remind certain individuals how much benefit there is in getting enough sleep the night before an exam. You could also tell them that a diet high in fruit and vegetables will strengthen their immune systems, thus increasing the chances of them tapping into their full potential.
Don’t skimp on words of encouragement
A simple ‘you can do it’ and ‘you’ve come on very well’ can actually go much further than most people would imagine. These phrases go some length to instilling a strong sense of confidence in pupils, which hopefully should aid them in the tests. The exam period can be an extremely negative couple of weeks, so there’s nothing wrong with pumping a little positivity into the proceedings. Essentially, just make sure you’re quick to offer words of encouragement to anyone who might look like they’re in need of it.
Remind students you’re always happy to help
Pupils’ stress levels usually peak when they don’t understand a subject. This is followed by an unwillingness to own up to needing extra help due to fear of how their teachers might react. On the other hand, if you’re always happy to lend your support and are readily approachable, you should find that this goes some length to helping your pupils relax on occasions where they would otherwise become flustered.
The role of a teacher
As a teacher it’s your duty to help your students excel. You’ve come this far already, so the hard part is almost over. Just make sure that over the next few weeks you keep an eye out for those who might be stressed and be keen to relieve their anxiety.