Classroom fears

Naturally, we like to stay in familiar places, with familiar faces. There are times when familiarly settings are no longer fit for our needs or desires because we have grown older. Would you expect a 15 year old be in a fourth grade? That example may be too extreme but it shows that with age students change class or school settings. With the changes, come fears.

Some common examples of classroom fears that student encounter includes:

  • Speaking or presenting in class
  • Missing or anticipation of missing an assignment deadline
  • Failing to make a grade
  • Taking exams (and final exams)
  • Workload of all the classes
  • Words that bring fear quiz, test, exam, project, book report, and so on
  • Knowing whether or not dress or appearance is appropriate
  • Unfamiliar faces, classroom environment, or seating arrangements

Figure 1 shows a general representation of fear or anxiety levels associated with start of a new school season. On the day of the first classes and prior to the first class, the student probably feels fears the most. Anxiety levels are higher for the first class than for the second class, anxiety levels are higher for second class than the third class. As the days goes on, anxiety levels drop.

Figure 1 first school day fear levels
Figure 1 first school day fear levels

Here are some tips to overcome classroom fears:

  • Talk to other students who have previously taken the class
  • Talk to the instructor or teacher that is teaching the class for help or clarification. Also check with your education advisor or counselor.
  • Study class material well
  • Practice your presentations
  • Practice taking exams. Consider asking the instructor for previous exams.
  • Learn how your assignment is graded
  • Assess your strengths and weaknesses. Improve where necessary
  • Establish your credibility in class by actively participating
  • Use relaxation techniques
  • Dress appropriately and comfortably
  • Get a good night’s sleep
  • Arrive early in class
  • Know in advance the layout of the classroom (or the building where the class will be taught)
  • Know your expectations (for example, no cell phones or use of other mobile devices while in class)
  • Other students in your class are there for the same reason as you are: to learn.
Posted on 7/5/2007
by Raj Singh