Suburban chemistry teacher takes time for the science of stress

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GURNEE, Ill. -- Our Teacher of the Month is a science instructor, but she has a winning formula for stress management.

Molecular structures are the topic today in Lindsay Consdorf’s chemistry class at Warren Township High School in Gurnee – but her lessons on stress management are a constant.

Lindsay Consdorf, teacher of the month: “The students that I tend to get in class are so stressed, and a lot of it comes from mainly themselves, bur from parents, from the community.”

It didn’t take a complex science experiment to figure out her students needed extra support.

Genevieve Korn, nominating student: “I never really had a teacher that would so clearly address that there is a stress problem.”

Learning comes easy for Genevieve Korn, who nominated Ms Consdorf for teacher of the month consideration. But now in her senior year, Genevieve and some of her advanced placement classmates are feeling the pressure.

Genevieve Korn: “This year I was hit especially hard with college applications along with keeping up in school and my clubs that at one point I just didn’t know what to do, so I just went up and asked her what to do. Ms Consdorf recognizes that a lot of us are hitting a wall, and she has told us that in the past year she has had kids really crumble under pressure, and she is willing to address it.”

Ms. Consdorf: “When I first started doing this I worried that they were just going to roll their eyes and kind of ignore what I had to say. It doesn’t take that long to talk about … it only takes five minutes, ten minutes once a week, every other week to just give them little tips. It’s ‘Hey guys, I did some research and here are some apps I found that might be helpful to you.’ Or ‘here is a time management technique that might be helpful to you.’ I gave them a useful life skill. I feel that’s so much more important than any chemistry lesson or chemistry fact that they might have picked up along the way.”

For a job well done Ms. Consdorf received a thousand dollar check from Saint Xavier University and applause from her grateful students.

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