We found it beneficial to relate what we had learnt in session 2 to our teaching practice. We discussed the possibility of some subjects leading to anxieties in children, for example: body image in PE and some aspects of science. We thought that we would now be more aware of certain behaviours as a form of avoidance and that ignoring these behaviours is not going to make the problem go away. The fact that teachers also experience worry and overload was also discussed along with the importance of us being able to model good coping strategies to the children. We thought that generally the course was helping us to have more empathy towards children as we are constantly relating everything back to our own experiences and feelings and it was proposed that it is important for teachers to be able to help their class feel empathy. The course has helped us recognise that, after any significant event, there is a period of grief which is natural and shouldn’t be treated as a mental health problem.
Primary PGCE Student
When recalling the previous session, various topics were brought up including the different ways in which anxiety can manifest and how this is reflected through behaviour, physically and in thoughts. Children in particular often display this through physical problems. Often semantic disorders also occur where children may say they have a stomach ache because they do not have the emotional language to explain how they are feeling. We also recalled over sleep patterns.
On reflecting on own practice it was recognised that change in routine can cause difficulties for children. Such as a school trip and it was suggested that the best way to help the child is to desensitize them by talking about what/where they will actually be going or doing and maybe taking them in separately so they get used to where they are going, and realise it is nothing to worry about rather than allowing the child to catastrophes the situation. It was also recognised that your own stress and anxiety when teaching can have an impact on the children’s behaviour. Therefore it is always best to be confident, clear and well prepared to make sure that you get the best out of the children in your class.
Primary PGCE Student