Do you suspect a child in your class has anxiety about coming to school?

Going back to school after a long summer can be hard for any child.  It may be hard for them to adjust to a new schedule or a harder grade, but most kids are able to settle in after a while.  Children with anxiety will have a much more difficult time adapting to the routine and will frequently have a more difficult time completing tasks.

Here is a quick list of things you might look for in children if you suspect they have anxiety:

-difficulty concentrating or completing classwork

Sometimes children cannot work as fast as others to complete their work. With anxiety, look for a child that you know can finish and understands the task at hand, but just simply cannot focus enough to complete it in a timely manner.

-feeling self-conscious or avoiding certain situations

Avoiding group work or wanting to work alone is a sign that child might have school anxiety or a difficult time coping.  Also, being terrified to present or stand in front of the class could be another indicator.

-physical symptoms such as sweaty hands, deep breathing, or tense muscles

Sometimes saying one word (such as “test”) can trigger anxiety in a child.  Carefully observe your students and their actions to see if you notice any physical symptoms of anxiety.

-takes medication for anxiety

Be sure your students have followed the proper protocols for taking medication at school.  If they do, find out why they need medication so you might be more sensitive to their needs.

-frequently missing class time

Sometimes, students are pulled out of the classroom for speech therapy, tutoring, extra reading practice, etc.  Students can also be pulled out for counseling services.  Be sure you are aware of when and why a student might get pulled out.  Also, keep note if they ask to see a counselor at a particular part of the day or after you have requested something from the class.

Be sure to discuss any issues or worries you have about children in your class with their parents.  Most of the time, they are able to give you reasons why a child is behaving a certain way and how they cope with the behavior at home.