Social media is a very nearly unavoidable part of life for many of us. I keep in touch with family and friends via Facebook, and I’ve recently started using Twitter to connect with other teachers. Many teachers avoid connecting with students because they are worried about violating expectations for ethical professional behavior. However, the reasons to refuse students’ “friend” requests on social media are incredibly exaggerated. Involvement on social media should not be a concern for teachers who are otherwise capable of interacting with students in a professional manner.
A question raised on Quora was “What do you do when a student refuses to present due to anxiety?”
Public speaking is the most common phobia among modern Americans. At Psychology Today, Dr. Glenn Croston surmises that this is because humans are social creatures, and performing in front of others carries with it not only the possibility of failure, but more importantly, of being rejected and ostracized.
As a result, teachers need to do what they can to provide an environment that encourages students to take risks and applaud each others’ attempts, regardless of success. This helps students see failure as an opportunity to learn, and lets them know that they will not be rejected for it.