Teaching Strategies and Classroom Policies to Help Students With Anxiety Disorders
What Does Anxiety Look Like for Kids?
Younger children tend to struggle more with separation anxiety.
Older children tend to struggle more with social and academic anxiety.
How Do Children Respond to Anxiety?
Start with the culture of the school.
Teach how to identify emotions.
Collaborate with parents and caregivers.
Consider what classroom policies and practices can be adjusted.
- Allowing students to present to educators alone or do a short presentation in front of a smaller group of students if they have anxiety about public speaking.
- Allowing students to move their desk away from the front of the classroom or switching seats regularly if they struggle with being in the spotlight.
- Allowing students who struggle with distraction to choose seats closer to the front of the classroom to help them focus their attention.
- Providing directions in verbal and written form to ensure that those who are easily distracted don’t miss out on instruction.
- Providing advance notice about which students may be presenting, reading or solving problems to allow them to prepare.
- Encouraging students to make mistakes in pursuit of discovering answers and allowing them to work collaboratively to help each other rather than correct each other.
- Asking children at the beginning of the year if there are aspects of learning or the classroom that make them stressed.