Are your students stressed out, tired, and unable to focus? They’re not alone. The average eighth-grade student now spends over 25 hours a year taking standardized tests, while the average high school student reports feeling stressed 80 percent of the time.
Even kindergartners are feeling more academic pressure, spending less time on art and music and more on math, reading, and assessment compared with the late 1990s. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, childhood stress can lead to permanent changes in brain structure and function, increasing the likelihood of learning difficulties, memory problems, and chronic diseases in adult life. Meanwhile, a 2013 report by the American
Psychological Association (APA) found that the negative effects of stress persist into the high school years: 35 percent of teens lie awake at night because of stress, cutting into critical sleep time and increasing the likelihood that they’ll have concentration problems or experience feelings of sadness and depression.