20 Tips to Help De-escalate Interactions With Anxious or Defiant Students
Anxiety is a huge barrier to learning and very difficult for educators to identify. “When anxiety is fueling the behavior, it’s the most confusing and complicated to figure out,” Minahan said. That’s because a student isn’t always anxious; it tends to come and go based on events in their lives, so their difficulties aren’t consistent. When we are anxious our working memory tanks, making it very difficult to recall any salient information. Researchers surveyed a group of first graders none of whom had any reading or math disabilities. “Anxiety is a learning disability; it inhibits your ability to learn,” Minahan said. Anxiety isn’t about ability, it’s about interference, which means that traditional rewards and consequences don’t often work with this group of learners. “Rewards and consequences are super helpful to increase motivation for something I’m able to do,” Minahan said. A common teacher response to low-level negative attention seeking is to ignore the student.
Related: PBIS / Classroom Management / Deescalation
• Concentration, attention, confiance