WRITTEN BY
Andrea Bernoth
11 February, 2022

Why your mental health matters when learning ?

Just over two years ago, Cambodia had its first Covid-19 case, and since that time, our students at Northbridge have being demonstrating their resilience, adjusting to new ways of learning, and continuing to strive to achieve their best. They should be commended for their adaptability and the overall positivity they have maintained. 


Through demonstrating our school values of caring hearts, ambitious minds and exhibiting the IB learner profile traits, our students have overcome these odds and should be proud of their achievements 

Andrea Bernoth
EAL & ALS Coordinator, and DP & MYP English Teacher

Remaining focused and enthusiastic about learning has not been an easy task. Within the world of language teaching, we ascribe to a theory posited by Stephen Krashen called the Affective Hypothesis. It essentially states that a student will not be able to learn language (or learn anything) to their full potential if they are inhibited by anxiety, stress, low self-esteem or a lack of motivation. This ties in with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, that we are not able to direct our energy towards achieving self-esteem or self-actualisation if we are focusing on our physiological needs, personal safety or love and belonging. 


How does this connect with our secondary students at Northbridge? During the past few years, they have dealt with normal teenage issues—but with added stressors of uncertainty: their health during a global pandemic; a loss of stability and routine due to switching between virtual and on-campus learning; and the disruption to their social connections caused by extended periods of isolation, all while needing to self-motivate themselves to stay focused during the day. It sounds as though they all had plenty of reasons to just give up, but they haven’t. Through demonstrating our school values of caring hearts, ambitious minds and exhibiting the IB learner profile traits, our students have overcome these odds and should be proud of their achievements.

Nevertheless, it is imperative that we as a school community—parents, guardians and staff—continue to support our students as much as possible to minimise as many of these obstacles as possible. As families, prioritise your child’s mental health and wellbeing. Give them time to relax, to engage in activities that focus on enjoyment and connection. As a school, we are committed to helping students advocate for themselves, to differentiating within the classroom and to providing them with resources needed to succeed. The Learning Support team in particular are working hard to ensure that we can equip students with strategies and tools to overcome any barriers to learning. Our EAL and ALS team focus on helping students with less proficient English increase their fluency and confidence in communicating within the school environment and expressing their needs. Together, we hope to create an atmosphere that reduces reasons for students to be anxious or worried about school life.