Anxious Heads, Troubled Hearts

Page topper image panel Anxious Heads Troubled Hearts PL Course

Anxious Heads, Troubled Hearts

Exploring anxiety in self and others

Course code: PL2020

Purpose of this course:

The course has been designed to give access to some of the current thinking on dealing with anxiety. The world in which we and our students live is stressful and anxiety disorders are on the increase in the general population and in the classroom. Research on the effects of health disasters suggests that anxiety and depression rates rise significantly in the wake of any disaster. The current COVID-19 pandemic and the associated lock down and job losses are having a widespread impact in our society and anxiety disorders are increasing as a direct result of this situation. The course aims to build the resilience and the personal skill set of teachers to enable them to better care for themselves and their students in the pandemic environment. This course is specifically designed for teachers professing a faith, as the research incorporates the concept of a Biblical understanding of life and how to deal with its uncertainties. The course is based on the Agora presented by Valerie Ling and references the current psychological research.

Anxious Heads, Troubled Hearts is a five-hour, online course and incorporates the learning from the 2020 EdComm Agora of the same name.

Click below to see a short segment of Valerie Ling's address at an EdComm Agora event


Target audience: 

For teachers and leaders who have an interest in understanding anxiety and how COVID-19 is increasing anxiety for both teachers and students.

Learning outcomes:

  1. To develop a critical understanding of the nature of anxiety affecting our teachers and students.
  2. To grow an awareness of the links between anxiety and the COVID-19 pandemic.
  3. To understand ways of dealing with anxiety and when to refer forward to a medical practitioner.


Success criteria:

  1. The participant can express an understanding of what anxiety is and how it is experienced.
  2. The participant engages with the discussion and raises concerns about dealing with anxiety in their own life and in the school setting.
  3. The participant shows evidence of engaging with other participants in dialogue about anxiety and its link to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  4. The participant reflects on their own practice and proactive measures to build resilience in the current situation.


Course outline:

Module 1
This module explores what anxiety is, its causes and symptoms, and the relationship between thoughts and anxiety. It also looks at how the Fight or Flight response is activated by stress and its contribution to an anxiety state.

  • Learning Task 1.1 – Check your Understanding
  • Learning Task 1.2 – Understanding the Fight or Flight mechanism
  • Learning Task 1.3 – Recognising physiological symptoms of anxiety
  • Learning Task 1.4 – Stimulus-based scenario analysis exploring the relationship between thoughts and anxiety
  • Learning Task 1.5 – A personal reflection and application


Module 2
Module Two explores how anxiety affects children, with reference to younger as well as teenage children.

  • Learning Task 2.1 – Recognising anxiety in children


Module 3
In this module you will explore the impact of COVID-19 on teachers and children.

  • Learning Task 3.1 – The Impact of COVID on teachers
  • Learning Task 3.2 – Leading in COVID times
  • Learning Task 3.3 – Adaptive Coping strategies
  • Learning Task 3.4 – Dealing with children affected by anxiety


Module 4
This module looks more closely at how to deal with anxiety, how to support those who are suffering from anxiety and the importance of faith in dealing with anxiety.

  • Learning Task 4.1 – Dealing with anxiety
  • Learning Task 4.2 – Activities to de-stress
  • Learning Task 4.3 – Anchoring in Christ


Module 5 
Presents the questions and answers from the Agora evening.

  • Learning Task 5.1 – Interacting with the questions, forming my own questions and responding to the questions posed by others


Module 6
In this module you will be asked to reflect on your learning and to assess your own learning and the course.

  • Learning Task 6.1 – A reflection on my learning
  • Learning Task 6.2 – Self-evaluation of my learning and course evaluation


Course dates:

2nd to 30th August, 2021


Course cost:

Anglican EdComm Member Schools: Complimentary

Anglican EdComm Individual Members: Complimentary

Non-member Schools/General Admission: $200pp

Further information:

Once you have registered and paid you will be given access to EdComm's Learning Management System, where you will be able to work through the course material in a facilitated online learning community.


Click to email for further information

Contact EdComm Professional Learning