DURING TESTING, TEACHERS BE LIKE:
Ahhhh, the testing season is upon us! We thought this Dr. Evil testing meme would be a great way to kick off our post this month on dealing with test stress and general anxiety. Whether you are a frazzled counselor trying to deal with the collateral damage of high stakes testing on students, a TEFL teacher trying to get your own students ready for their fluency exams, or a stateside ESL /bilingual teacher bravely facing down the state exams in L2 with your students, this time of year means...
For that reason, we've included a lot of links in this post as helpful resources for dealing with anxiety, stress, and calming the two- the blue ones will take you right to an article, video, or product you can use and the red ones will take you to a freebie that you can download after you leave a comment below (once you leave a comment, the download automatically gets sent to you within a day).
Okay, so let's get started! Stress and anxiety tax all of our body systems and they feel terrible. Here’s a little info from the American Psychological Association on how stress harms the body in both the short and long term. Anxiety, in particular, also inhibits performance, whether that takes the form of not being able to speak fluently during an oral language exam or not performing to one’s best ability on a state, national, or international exam.
Thankfully, there are all kinds of ways to alleviate the effects of stress caused by test anxiety (or any kind of anxiety, really). Because so much of test anxiety is linked to a fear of failure, it’s very enlightening for students to watch this fabulous Michael Jordan commercial that views failure from a completely different (and better!) perspective. Showing this commercial is a great way to kick off a fab discussion about how a test is just a test and how test failure today can lead to academic success tomorrow. Here are some of our other favorite anxiety calming resources:
- Kidshealth.org has wonderful anti-anxiety resources in Spanish and English for kids and teens.
- Our Bilingual Learner Spring guidance lesson on battling test stress and general anxiety gives students simple and effective calming strategies.
- Testing Ms. Malarky and Salt in his Shoes are two of the best picture books on this topic. Plus, the language is simple enough that even your intermediate ESL/bilingual students will enjoy it!
- Our Bilingual Learner game (and accompanying calming self-talk activity), No Worries BINGO, lets students have fun while they learning anti-anxiety strategies.
- We love WedMD’s 10 stress reducing relaxation techniques!
- Anxiety can lead to unhealthy coping skills, so share these healthy coping skills with your students/clients instead!
- And since anxiety is a feeling, how about some great ESL activities dealing with feelings from one of our newest fav sites, englishclub.com!
- Check out this sneak peak from our newest ESL for Beginners lessons guide (debuting in April!!) with various feelings vocabulary cards and word wall activities!
- And, last, but not least- another fab article from busyteacher.org on helping ESL teachers with THEIR own stress.
Well, we hope all the goodies above can help get you and your students/clients through this testing season. You can also look for our new book this summer to get you through NEXT year’s testing season: Stress Busters: Group Counseling Sessions Guide with Activities. It will be an 8 session counseling guide for running a calming, anti-anxiety group. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter below to find out when it is available. And if all else fails, just remember the meme below:
NEW PRODUCT ALERT!!!
We have just finished our latest counseling guide- in both book form and PDF!!! It is the Spanish/English version of Cope Into Hope: Grief Counseling Sessions Guide with Activities. Look for more photos of it on our Products Page where it is available for purchase at a discounted price. The book is also available on Amazon and TeachersPayTeachers.com at full price!
That's all for today, Folks! We'd love to hear your thoughts on helping students deal with anxiety, so please leave a comment below! Remember, we'll trade ya a comment for a freebie resource- comment below and we'll send you the code for the resources in RED above so you can download it for free from our Google Docs account. Hope to see you back here the first Saturday in May for our next post on super summer ESL topics, needs assessments, and running effective individual counseling sessions. In the meantime, you can find out about our latest promotions, free stuff, or our counseling/ESL adventures by following us on our Facebook Page or Twitter Page.