The invisible threat of anxiety
The nice thing about most challenges with our students is they're easy to spot. We have communities and and an arsenal of technology giving us clues even when we're so hurried we have no idea which period it is. Grade reports identify homework as the culprit for Sam's low grade. Vacant stares during a civil war lecture tell us this probably isn't our most engaging moment. Parents let us know if there's been a death in the family. There are some difficulties, though, that are much harder to see even with the best resources.
Anxiety (be it generalized, social, or situational) is one of those challenges. Students are experiencing this at a scale we haven't seen before. And diagnosing it can be extremely difficult. Most of the time it looks like just a student who's uncomfortable in a situation. It's not until it reaches a critical point that most kids even tell the adults in their lives what's actually going on.
This two part series explored the issue from both the student and educator perspective. Why it's happening and what we can do about it within the reasonable confines of a school are explored. If you think you understand the topic already, you may at least want to hear episode 11. The student take will make you see this issue a little differently.