Anxiety is a state of extreme fear which is usually caused by lack of knowledge. Anxiety ia an uneasy mental state concerning anticipated event or situation. It is usually accompanied by a feelings of helplessness as a result of being unable to find solution to problems.
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Anxiety often develops from lack of knowledge and confidence which often leads to a sense of inadequacy. It could be contagious i.e it could be imbibed as a behaviour through close relations like mother, father, close siblings… Who are anxious or suffering from anxiety.
During the childhood stage of human development, fear has been described as a normal emotion in every individual. Psychologists agree that children express fear of the unknown( like masquerade), fear of being mocked, fear of threat and spanking, withdrawal of love and affection. It is therefore advisable that more fear should not be instilled in children, as this may lead to anxiety, which may affect or prevent effective learning in children.
In order to reduce anxiety in learners, the following could be done as a teacher:
1- You should try and avoid coming to class with objects of fear like cane as this will attract the attention of the children more than what is being taught. The children will rather concentrate on when the cane will move and where it will land rather than make maximum use of the efforts the teacher is making to help them learn.
2- Helping the child to develop self- confidence. Every child should be helped to develop confidence in himself by encouraging each step he takes toward the performance or accomplishment of a learning task no matter how little or unsteady. The use of abusive or derogatory words on the child may lead to low self-concept and low self-esteem which are indicators of lack of self- confidence.
3- Avoid the use of labeling as it may lead to an attitude of self-fulfilling prophecy. It has been observed that teachers do label their students according to their performances in class. This usually results in such labeling like best row, the better, the good and the dullard. Such labeling prevent ambitionto progress, promotes unhealthy competition and encourage self- fulfilling prophesy.
4- Encourage and support the child even in the face of failure. In any learning activity the child engage in, every failure he encounter should be met with encouragement to try again and support for every step taken towards trying again and making a head way. This will make the child feel he is not alone in the struggle for competence and this will give him boldness to carry on until the task is finally and totally accomplished.
5- Do not withdraw love and affection as discipline or punishment for wrong doing by the child. This will only lead to the child trying to regain such love or affection rather than being genuinely repentant and correcting the wrong. Also, the withdrawal of love and affection may have adverse emotion effect on the child whichay lead to serious emotional problem.
6- Avoid the use of threat in trying to make the child respond to your instructions. Threat usually makes children jittery, uncoordinated and susceptible to making mistakes while carrying out a task.
7- Helping the child to develop sense of security, this will enable the child to exhibit boldness in carryingout a task.
8- Allowing each child to tackle his problems in his own way i.e without forcing him. Every individual is unique in development and task performance, therefore the child should be allowed to develop, perform task and solve his problems in his own way and at his own pace. This will help the child to develop a sense of accomplishment.
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