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Letter: Anxious children and Common Core

Kindergarten teacher Melissa Mazzalonga teaches a reading and

Kindergarten teacher Melissa Mazzalonga teaches a reading and math lesson to her students inside her classroom at Washington Elementary School in Huntington, Thursday, April 3, 2014. Photo Credit: Steve Pfost

Although I have not formally counted, I am certain that when I began practicing as a psychotherapist in 1990, I saw significantly fewer anxious children ["It's dinner and a protest for Cuomo," News, April 28].

Our leaders are deeply concerned about producing a more capable generation of adults equipped to compete with other nations. The Common Core standards are intended to raise our children to a higher level of academic performance.

However, I believe that the climate of rigorous testing and teacher assessment contributes to an environment in which teachers feel pressured to proceed with their classes at an unrealistic pace and are no longer able to offer students extra attention. Children are very sensitive to the feelings of their adult caretakers; they must be affected by the stress their teachers are experiencing.

Today's classrooms are a mix of children with special needs and different abilities. Teachers must possess a range of strategies, a knowledge of different learning styles and a great deal of patience to reach all of their students.

These children depend on the adults in their lives to be their best advocates. We adults must slow down, breathe and put our heads together to consider what is in the best interests of our children, academically and emotionally.

Heidi Berr, Oceanside