For many Irish students, preparing for a new school year means high levels of stress, anxiety, and worry are just around the corner.
But, it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, it shouldn’t. Depending on your perspective, feeling nervous about a specific course or exam can actually be a good thing. It means you care about the outcome and want to do your best.
In my 30 years as an educator and 16 years as the director of Revise.ie, I’ve seen more unnecessary stress on the faces of students than I care to remember. In my opinion, it’s time we start taking steps to turn negative pressure into positive behaviors and mindsets.
It’s time to work together to provide our students with the tools they need to excel academically with more preparation and less anxiety.
The decision to cancel the summer Leaving Cert exams due to concern for ‘significant risks for heightened anxiety’ — as stated in the report compiled by the National Educational Psychological Service for the Department of Education — was a giant red flag that something needs to change - fast.
Like many teachers across Ireland, I’m a big believer in the tried-and-true strategies proven to help increase our children’s mental and physical wellness in an attempt to reduce school stress
Some of those strategies include:
l Getting into a good sleep routine.
l Eating a healthy diet.
l Creating daily habits of exercise.
l Talking with our children about their concerns and encouraging a positive attitude.
At the same time, nothing beats stress or increases confidence like quality preparation, the primary benefits of organised grinds.
Designed to help students of all ages and abilities achieve their full potential through interactive and engaging tutoring led by highly skilled and inspiring teachers, grinds support learning and enhance student readiness.
As we embark on another school year, let’s consider a new formula for a creating stress-less experience by combining traditional strategies with extra doses of academic stimulation, such as:
l In-person and online grinds
l Class recordings
l Printed notes
l Supervised Study
l Intensive Revision Courses
While nothing is more important than giving children our love and encouragement, healthy habits and regular, focused academic preparation may be the remedy we need to turn student anxiety into genuine trust in their core strengths.
Let’s get started.
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