Date
15 April 2024

Recognise and manage stress and anxiety

On this page:

Reduce anxiety

Reduce anxiety

Recognise and help ākonga manage anxiety as they participate in literacy and numeracy learning and assessment activities.

  • Reduce surprises and provide support when ākonga do a new task or assignment type for the first time.
  • Give ākonga the chance to practice newly learned skills in a safe places.
  • Create opportunities for ākonga to share successes (if they are comfortable to do so).
  • Talk with ākonga about the ways in which their dyslexia influences their learning and what supports are useful and would be valuable in assessments.
  • Make time to discuss recognising and managing anxiety with the whole class, provide options such as a padlet or anonymous box where learners can post questions or ask for help.
  • Encourage ākonga to look ahead and anticipate key dates and pressure points, such as assignment deadlines or timed assessments and work through scenarios and solutions.
  • Introduce and explore the concept of adopting a growth mindset.

Source: International Dyslexia Association (opens in a new tab/window)

Schedule regular check-ins

Schedule regular check-ins

At your regular check-ins with ākonga, ask how they are feeling.

Also ask what supports and strategies are working well and what needs to be adjusted.

  • What’s working well for you at the moment?
  • How are you coping with the workload? Let’s look at your timetable/organiser and see what changes we can make.
  • Is any part of the work challenging at the moment?
  • What kind of support would be useful?
  • What's something you're looking forward to in the next few days?
  • Is there anything I can do to help?

Provide timely, useful guidance

Provide timely, useful guidance

Review and give direction in ways that work for ākonga.

Some may prefer hearing the teacher’s voice, others may prefer written notes. Ask ākonga what they prefer.

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Source: Ministry of Education | Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga

Support self-advocacy

Support self-advocacy

Encourage ākonga to identify learning needs and preferences and how to advocate for them across multiple contexts.

Create opportunities for ākonga to genuinely practice self-advocacy.

  • How to identify when to work alone and when to collaborate.
  • How and when to use text-to-speech and speech-to-text tools.
  • How and when to use text-to-speech to read back text to support editing.
  • How to select the best physical environment for a task or assessment to support attention, focus and achievement.
  • How and when to request and use headphones.
  • Knowing what supports editing in an assessment: Reading aloud written examination responses and correct as they read or hearing what they wrote, and determining whether it is what they intended.

Developing growth mindsets

Developing growth mindsets

Watch this video with ākonga.

Discuss how to move from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset in literacy and numeracy learning.

Video hosted on Youtube http://youtu.be/DKGO5RjbSgc

Useful resources

Useful resources

Website

The dyslexia-stress-anxiety connection

Read time: 10 min

This resource explains stress and anxiety and how they connect with dyslexia. It includes a step-by-step guide for supporting individuals to de-stress.

Publisher: International Dyslexia Association

Visit website

Website

Too stressed for exam success?

Read time: 7 min

Strategies for neurodiverse learners to develop their self-belief, improve learning and relieve exam nerves.

Publisher: Optimus Education

Visit website

Next steps

Return to the guide “Dyslexia and learning”

Guide to Index of the guide: Dyslexia and learning

Strategies for action:

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