Teaching with Tech

Challenging Situations

on February 12, 2017

For #EdublogsClub Challenge number 6, we have been tasked to write about a challenging situation and how we overcame it. There are many challenges I face as a teacher, however, I would like to write about how I helped my daughter overcome her challenges in Year 12.

While in Year 12, my daughter started to suffer from anxiety due to the immense pressure she put on herself. Not only was she convinced that she was going to fail, but she also had put high expectations on herself to get As, even though she didn’t need a high ATAR (uni entry score) for her uni course. Course entry was mainly based on a portfolio of her work.

At the beginning of the year, I told her I was concerned she was going to burn out and that she needed to have an outlet. She is very stubborn and refused to listen to me – what would her mother know! About half way through the year, the anxiety attacks started. She would curl up on the loungeroom floor, unable to do anything. I’d get her up off the floor and take her to a cafe for some hot chips (her favourite snack) just to take her mind off it.

With the workload mounting up, she became more and more convinced that she would not be able to get it all done. I sat down with her and wrote out a study plan. We discussed each assignment and what she had to do, breaking them down into individual steps and then writing, on a desk planner, when each step had to be done. This helped her focus on individual tasks one at a time, rather than becoming overwhelmed with it all.

When it came to her trial exams, she became really anxious and on the morning of the exams, refused to go. Again, I broke it down into individual steps. I said, “The first thing we are going to do is put on your shoes (she was already dressed).” Next was to walk out to the car, etc. We kept moving until we got to the exams.

Now she is about to start her second year of uni, studying a Bachelor of Creative Arts in Computer Game Design. She is having a wonderful time, still working very hard but has realised that she doesn’t have to push herself to get High Distinctions because in the whole scheme of things, her future employment will be based on a portfolio of her work. She is getting Distinctions and I’m very proud!

I find this same process of breaking down tasks into individual steps helps me when my job becomes overwhelming. I also find that I need to make sure I build in time for myself every day. If I keep working without a break, I get to the point where I cannot work anymore – it’s too much (just like my daughter did when she would lay down on the loungeroom floor). I found that helping her taught me some valuable skills, which I use every day.

One Response to “Challenging Situations”

  1. Sue Waters says:

    Hi Lee

    Thanks for sharing how you helped your daughter overcome her challenges in Year 12.
    It’s great to hear she is going well at Uni!

    Our system places too much pressure on our students. My son was very sick for most of his ATAR exams – unlucky to caught a bug. It was incredibly challenging situation for him although I think he handled the stress better than me. My strategy was to remind him that there are many different pathways to achieve the same outcome.

    He started Uni this week.


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