5 ways to reduce stress so your students can focus

For tutors

Many students feel pressured to perform academically, which sometimes leads to unhealthy levels of stress. This tension can be compounded when a learner performs poorly, is preparing for a high-stakes test, or isn’t meeting grade-level expectations.

It’s a good idea to watch for signs of a stressed-out student adding internal pressure to your tutoring session. You’re in a perfect position to encourage healthy stress management strategies, so your students can learn how to cope and have more fun with the learning process. Here are five ways you can help your students relax at the start of a tutoring session:

1. Spend the first few minutes checking in

It can be counterproductive to jump into work immediately when your student appears stressed or preoccupied. The first few minutes can be an excellent time to ask how your student is doing or if they have issues on their mind. Even if they don't need to de-stress, you can initiate a brief, light-hearted conversation to build rapport and trust. Humor can be a great way to put your student at ease. Share a funny story or joke to start the session off on a lighthearted note.

2. Share some encouraging feedback

Most students appreciate encouragement and want to know when they’re doing well. You might spend the first moments of the session giving your students positive feedback, for example where you saw the biggest growth since the last session. Passing on teacher praise can also help students feel less stressed and more confident.

3. Engage in a calming game or activity with the student

Whether or not the student appears stressed, you can establish focus with a game or mental exercise. Puzzle games like Sudoku and crosswords can help alleviate tension and improve cardiovascular health. A few minutes on an appropriate game app on a smartphone might help students calm down and get ready to learn.

4. Do a few stretches

Many people carry stress in their bodies, which can contribute to muscle tension. When they slouch, students also tend to hold stress in their bodies. You can suggest getting out of the chair and stretching their neck, upper back, and legs. A minute of stretching might become a regular ritual at the start of each session.

5. Practice deep breathing

Before any real work gets underway, you and your student can take a few deep breaths together, inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. Deep breathing can increase relaxation and make it easier for students to focus on their work. It also boosts immunity, brain functioning, digestion, and cardiovascular health. Deep breathing can also come in handy when a student feels frustrated with a problem or difficult course material.

Students are more likely to succeed when using stress reduction techniques like these. Remind can help you learn to encourage students to focus and prepare for online sessions. To find out how you can make a significant impact and improve your tutoring skills, join our leading online education portal by applying to become a Remind tutor today.