Sometimes I feel anxious when I’m going to have to tutor a topic that is hard for me. (Yes, even tutors and teachers find certain topics difficult!)
Here’s how I cope:
- I begin reviewing well in advance. Cramming makes me even more anxious, so I start reviewing early, when the pressure is off.
- I use multiple sources. I like watching the videos on Khan Academy because I can just let them roll while I passively absorb some of the material. And I can watch as many times as I want (I “get” more with every viewing). I also read my textbook. Multiple explanations of the same material helps me understand it better.
- I go for understanding, not just rote learning. If I can really wrap my brain around this stuff and “own it,” I’m going to feel much more confident than if I just learn to plug numbers into some formulas.
- I take breaks. This allows the material I just studied to sink in, and it gives me a chance to settle down and let my anxiety level come back to normal.
- I deal with my anxiety. When I feel anxiety rising, I stop studying and take some slow, deep breaths. Or I stretch, or take a walk to the mailbox.
- I take care of myself. I drink plenty of water, and I eat healthy foods to fuel my brain. Skipping meals can dull thinking and produce headaches, while sugary foods can cause energy spikes and crashes that make anxiety worse.