So, I participated as a teacher in my first parent teacher conference today, just observing. The student has a low grade in the class with assignments that were not completed. Her mother before the past week or two, was teaching during the day and working retail at night but she quit her retail job to help her children with their school work which myself and my supervising teacher found admirable.
But the parent started to discuss test anxiety which is very common these days in children because there are such high stakes on tests that the students get scared of tests. My first time taking the FCAT was 6th grade (moved from New Mexico) and I got so sick from just studying for it that I threw up. Then on the day of the test, I passed out at my desk. Throughout High School I would have panic attacks at night while I slept, having nightmares, and I would stop breathing. One time my dad had woken up at 3:00am which he does quite often and he heard me yelling in my sleep and he couldn’t wake me and he said that I had stopped breathing a few times. This is what anxiety can do to someone.
But this student’s mother said
“My kids are normal, we don’t have any kind of disabilities, so when she said she had anxiety we would laugh at her for it.”
I almost started yelling at her when she said this. Anxiety is real and it is a learned attribute majority of the time. But I told my story to the mother and she finally understood and is wanting to work with her daughter to help her with her school work. It was successful and I hope my next conference, which is this afternoon is just as productive.