Teen Anxiety and Depression
Increasingly, children and teens of all ages struggle with anxiety and depression. It’s still too early for research to verify for certain, but many professionals believe that the steadily increasing rate of teen anxiety and depression can be attributed to the increasing use of social media, smartphones, and the internet. If you have a child or teen who is struggling heavily with anxiety and depression, here’s how a smaller school and smaller class sizes can genuinely help.
Decreased Pressure to Perform and Conform
In a small school, many students find that there is less pressure all the way around. In many cases, in small classes, you will find more like-minded families dedicated to helping eradicate teen anxiety and depression –including decreasing smartphone use and social media access. Your student may find that in a small classroom, they experience less overall pressure to conform to standards that many modern teens struggle with on a daily basis, including ongoing social media presence.
Smaller classrooms can also decrease performance pressure. Thanks to more one-on-one interactions with teachers, students have the opportunity to ask key questions and improve overall performance without the fear of failure or “looking stupid” to their peers.
More Monitoring of Peer Relationships
In a large, busy school, teachers don’t have time to monitor the peer relationships of every student. In a smaller school, on the other hand, teachers often have a much better idea of the way each student in the classroom interacts with the others. Teachers also have the opportunity to help build and guide relationships between students, rather than leaving a student who might be floundering to their own devices. As a result of that monitoring and interaction, teachers can also take steps to prevent problems before they become more serious.
Better Relationships with Teachers
When your child attends a large school, teachers can form relationships with only a handful of students each year. When you send your child to a smaller school, on the other hand, your child will have more interactions with those specific teachers–and as a result, form deeper, more meaningful relationships with each of them. Not only that, teachers with fewer students are more likely to care individually about each student, including taking the time to mentor them and relate to them.
Bullying is becoming an increasingly serious issue in many schools. From cyberbullying to the in-person taunts and jabs many parents remember from their own childhoods, more children than ever deal with serious anxiety and depression due to bullying. Decreasing class size, luckily, can decrease bullying along with it. In a small classroom, students are more likely to build relationships with one another. Decreased anxiety and stress can also decrease the feeling that a student needs to bully another. Not only that, teachers in small classrooms are more aware of what’s going on, which means they can catch bullying behavior at the start and put an end to it.
As your child enters their middle and high school years, they may have multiple teachers over the course of each day–and those teachers may have no idea what is going on with your child at any given moment. Not only that, communication between parents and teachers often wanes, leaving parents with no idea of what’s going on at school every day. In a small school, on the other hand, many teachers are able to focus more on communication, both with the student and with the parent. As a result, parents have a better idea of what their children might be facing every day, which gives them the ability to address any issues before they become more serious.
If your child is struggling with anxiety or depression, the right school environment can make a big difference. Contact us today to learn more about how the small classroom environments at The Tenney School can help improve your child’s mental health and increase your confidence in the communication you receive from the school.