Isn’t it ironic that we are talking about stress and the Middle School student? Unfortunately, as educational requirements become more stringent in the middle and upper levels, students everywhere experience considerable school stress. This stress can affect performance on tests, class participation, and the overall wellbeing of the student. It is important that all students have the support of teachers and administrators to help manage and navigate stress management techniques.
As a faculty and staff, we work with the students early in the 7th grade with the following stress relief tips and tools that hopefully, they will take with them throughout high school and college.
Time Management – It is very important that our students give themselves plenty of time to work on assignments, study for tests and quizzes and classroom projects. Breaking up studies into smaller chunks are critical and essential time management skills.
Organization – Having an organization system for note-taking, keeping track of assignments and projects. Our students are required to have a binder-reminder that must be used in addition to the Wire for remembering homework assignments, test dates and knowing where everything is on a class by class basis. We teach them to keep a calendar, a schedule, and a personal filing system to prevent significant stress.
Create a Good Study Environment at Home - Creating a consistent and soothing environment can help reduce stress and help a student learn. We stress to the student and their parents to have a learning environment without distractions and without electronic devices.
Sleep – If a student wants optimum performance in school, sleep is extremely critical. For middle school, it is recommended the student sleep between 9-10 hours per night. We recommend the students work enough sleep and/or power naps into their daily schedules.
The All Saints’ Middle School, along with the Upper School, has recently implemented “Challenge Success," a Stanford University program that helps schools create a more balanced and academically fulfilling life for kids. As part of our efforts, the Middle School teachers do not give homework assignments and/or major projects over the Thanksgiving, Christmas and Spring Break holidays. It is this time the students should spend as a kid, enjoying their family and friends without the worry of school.
Stress can actually impair a student’s ability to learn, remember facts and study during the course of the year. Stress management is one of the most overlooked school necessities. Learning in middle school to develop a stress management practice can reduce overall stress levels for the students. The more we identify and practice these stress management techniques that work, the more prepared our students will be to cope with challenges they will face in high school and throughout life.