(Palmer Associates Inc.’ Teaching Philosophy)

“Hello, Students. So your employer sent you for our two day course at this nice hotel so you can earn a certificate by passing an exam tomorrow afternoon”? Feeling a little pressure? Who wouldn’t?

Over the years we’ve become extremely sensitive to the burden many students bring to the classroom. What if I fail the test after the company spent so much to get me here? That’s a valid concern and one we try to diffuse right up front with the following statement:

“Text anxiety is detrimental to the learning process and therefore not allowed. You will learn a lot of information in two days, but in a relaxed, supportive atmosphere with one-on-one sessions if required. If you don’t do well, we take it as a personal failure. So the goal is to have you all excel.”

Every course we have several students admit to suffering from test anxiety, but somehow talking about it helps the cause. We’ve all struggled with teachers who seem to take special glee in dragging students down with ploys of trick questions, spot quizzes or verbal put-downs. How edifying is that?

We like to see the light bulbs pop on above student heads as they relax and learn, free of nervous hindrances. Although we have not had to change our exam over the years, the test scores have soared since we began addressing test jitters and offering reassurance during the introductory session.

To switch an old maxim: Less pain, more gain.