Coping With School: What Students Say

Students share what makes them worry at school and how teachers can help them cope.

For students, the pressures of school can build up: managing class work, fitting in with friends, taking exams and keeping up with homework. For teachers, we know the wellbeing of your students is important to you, but it’s a difficult to know where to start. So we asked students from various primary and secondary schools what made them worry at school and how teachers can help them.

Here’s what they had to say:

What students are worried about:

  • Homework being too hard
  • Being late for class
  • Being isolated
  • Not making friends
  • Being bullied
  • Detention
  • Not being in class with friends
  • Not fitting in
  • What people think of them 
  • Losing friends

How teachers can help:

  • Ask their students if they're okay
  • Talk about their own experiences in school
  • Show and tell students where to go if they're feeling upset or angry

One student told us how they liked to talk to their teachers about things other than school work, which helped develop trust:

Talk to students about things other than school work – get to know them and what activities they like to do, take the time to bond. It helps when you know a teacher has got your back.

As well as asking how teachers could help, we asked students what things they could do if they’re feeling stressed. Getting students to think about how they cope is a good way to get them to engage with their own mental health. If your students are stressed you could get them to try:

  • Counting to ten 
  • Breathing exercises
  • Listening to relaxing music
  • Going somewhere quiet to be alone
  • Talking to someone they trust
  • Writing or drawing their feelings

If you’re doing some of these things with students and young people, we’d love to hear about your mental health and wellbeing good practice. Email us at [email protected]

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