Sunday, May 7, 2017

Managing Student Stress

Stress is present in almost every student in today’s classroom.  Constant pressure from various sources make school and extra-curricular activities the most strenous of enterprises.  This never-ending pressure can come from anything that expects something from a student.  Students today are obsessed with being perfect in every way imaginable.  This expectation of perfection is a breeding ground for stress that weighs down students on a daily basis.  Normally, feeling a little bit of stress is good for developing young adults.  This can teach them healthy work habits and how to manage time wisely.  However, too much stress can become a problem.  “If you start feeling stressed out on a regular basis, this could lead to greater health problems, and could negatively interfere with your relationships and everyday life.” (  It is almost impossible for students to perform to their full ability in the classroom when under this level of stress.

Teachers themselves can play a role in decreasing the amount of stress students experience.  Even though they are not the ones experiencing the pressure that surrounds their students, there are many ways that educators can ensure that their classroom is as stress-free as possible.  

Have students see the big picture: If a student is feeling very stressed out about a certain assignment, it is a good thing to remind them that their one assignment is very small in the grand scheme of things.  Keeping students lighthearted is essential for every classroom.

Have music play during class: Relaxing music is a great way to calm nerves.  Playing music during classwork, exams, or silent reading is a great option.

Give constant feedback: Students should never be surprised about their grades.  Keeping them informed makes sure that they are always ready for the next opportunity to improve or maintain their grades.

Allow communication: Communication is the most important thing a teacher can provide for their students.  Teachers should always make sure that their students know that they can come to them for support and advice.

Teach time management: Keeping students organized with their time can help prevent future stress.  When students possess these skills, it allows for them to keep themselves organized and ready for future challenges.

Educators should always know how their students feel.  They should know how their behaviors and expectations affect the stress levels of students. Educators should know how to counteract stress caused by their own policies and teaching methods.  However, great teachers are professionals in helping students manage outside stress that they don’t cause.  This stress plays a big role in harming a student's focus while learning.  "A tiny amount of pressure - even the simple anticipation of such pressure - initiates a whole cascade of constricting physical and mental reactions." ( Once the stress level of the student has been reduced through various methods like the ones listed above, real learning can begin.

Works Cited:
"Overcome with Stress?" Student Health Services | Georgetown University. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 May 2017.

"The Impact of Stress in the Classroom." The Centre for Embodied Wisdom. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 May 2017. 


  1. Stress is something we deal with at any age Sean but I love that you opened the conversation to how we as educators can support students who are dealing with an excessive amount of stress in our classrooms (or for that matter even to stop it from escalating).

  2. You're writing about such an important topic, Sean. Thank you for providing the student perspective on stress. I often worry that so many elementary school kids are overscheduled and don't know how to manage their time (without their parents intervening). Hence, your time management suggestion is, especially, an important one since students need to be able to self-manage their time and their learning.