There is increasing evidence in our classrooms that children as young as 8 and 9 years of age are presenting with anxiety which has knock on effects in terms of learning, friendships, self-esteem and even school attendance. If left unchecked this silent epidemic can manifest as school refusals, isolation and panic attacks in adolescents.
As teachers we are ideally placed to recognise the early warning signs and as such we have a role to play as we help children understand their internal world of feeling and thinking.
The following lesson on anxiety was designed as a platform to open up a discussion in a non confrontational way with a class of teenagers. The lesson is supplemented with discussion, activity, coping mechanisms, supports and ends with a quiz and can lead to all sort of discoveries. Teenagers enjoy learning in this manner and teachers can follow up by accessing further supports for pupils who need intervention.