Anxiety: A case of mistaken identity

Photo by boram kim on Unsplash

Society is becoming progressively aware of common global issues within education ranging from illiteracy rates to access to quality education. Included in these discussions is the study of mental health, namely anxiety, and how it affects students.

An example of nervous behaviour is restlessness before examinations or class readings and usually isn’t reason for much concern because they are experienced in short bursts. However, prolonged anxiety can affect students negatively by holding them back from opportunities.

According to Anxiety Disorders Association of America (AAA), without intervention, they’re at risk for poor performance, diminished learning and social/behavior problems in school. Because anxiety disorders show up differently in children, parents and teachers can’t always identify them until the child hits the breaking point.

Identifying anxious students

Recognising anxious behaviours can be a challenge especially when a student has high functioning anxiety.

For example, a student could be the epitome of success and usually an overachiever despite internally facing mental fatigue and pressured to excel. While on the opposite side of the spectrum, other anxious students feel better by exhibiting negative characteristics such as procrastination and isolation.

Anxiety is classified into six major types such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder and social anxiety disorder. As a result, students express their nervousness in the form of:

A. Exam Anxiety
The root cause of this type of anxiety is linked to the pressure to perform well or the need for perfection. Students that exhibit these sorts of behaviours are often referenced in pop culture as ‘Type A’.

B. Social Anxiety
A student experiencing this type of stress is worried about having to adapt or handle social changes. For example, an introverted student may isolate themselves away from group work, shy away when asking for help or react by being selectively mute.

C. Refusal to Attend School
From upset stomachs to loitering, students experiencing this form of anxiety would go to any lengths to avoid school. In severe cases of anxiety, students would eventually drop out of school.

Be supportive and recognise efforts however small

When dealing with an anxious student, the root cause often stems from the need for security and feeling safe.

The best way for teachers and parents to help is to take a nurturing approach to coach a student to come out of their shell and succeed.

 

 

FrogPlay helps by creating a safe learning environment

Technology such as social media and game apps has been dubbed as a distraction if a student doesn’t use it for meaningful learning. However, if edtech is used purposefully, we believe it can help students as a non-confrontational way to manage their anxiety.

“This doesn’t seem like learning!” UK Student from King Edwards VI

 

1. Exam Anxiety
FrogPlay quizzes can be used as an assessment tool to assure students that making a mistake is ok! We believe that success isn’t achieved in a day but by the act of learning from your mistakes and trying again. 

2. Social Anxiety
Painfully shy students or individuals with speech impediments can benefit from FrogPlay because it doesn’t require them to have a face-to-face interaction in classrooms. As a tool that is accessible remotely, parents can encourage their children to learn from these quizzes if they’re too nervous to attend school. We believe that using edtech should be used alongside coaching students out of their shyness so that they don’t lose their social skills. 

“I saw how Izzati slowly came out of her shell and became more involved in class. Not only did she show more interest in her studies, but she also became motivated to learn on her own,” said teacher Nurul Syuhada. Read more about it here!

3. Refusal to Attend School
FrogPlay functions as a quiz application with gamified elements! The availability to make learning fun through mini games, personalising avatars and a leaderboard helps create an opportunity for students to gain an interest towards difficult subjects and prevent loitering due to boredom in school. 

 

The Frog World Championship is a great activity to involve students in fun learning!
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