[semester equivalent = 2.00 credits]



Lori Gibson



Imagine looking out on your classroom and knowing that every student has a clear, receptive mind, is engaged, and is ready to learn. Unfortunately, this is rarely what we see in our classrooms. Instead, too many students seem preoccupied, isolated, withdrawn, nervous or overwhelmed.

It is estimated that 1 out of every 5 students in America suffers from a diagnosable anxiety disorder. And it is further suggested that, unchecked, anxiety can result in school failure, social isolation and missed opportunities. The purpose of this course is for educators to increase their understanding of anxiety and learn how to support students, and their parents, who are dealing with this disorder.

This independent study course is appropriate for Pre-K -12 teachers, administrators, support staff and parents.  Note: The book, Growing Up Brave, was written for parents, however it is an excellent resource for understanding and supporting our anxious students and their parents.


LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:

  1. Known a definition of anxiety and be able to provide an overview of the differences between normal and excessive fears/anxiety. 
  2. Known what “growing up brave” means according to the work and research of Dr. Donna Pincus.  
  3. Understood the general outlines of six (6) major childhood/adolescent anxiety disorders and their symptoms.
  4. Known how significant anxiety can negatively impact a student’s academic, social and physical development.
  5. Identified the three (3) components that make up the “cycle of anxiety” and how they interact to perpetuate anxiety in anxious children and adolescents. How the “cycle of anxiety” works and typically perpetuates an increase or at least maintenance of the child or adolescent’s anxiety.
  6. An overview of some of the research-based interventions/ treatments that can work to help children/adolescents lessen anxiety and promote bravery.
  7. Learned some of the ways that educators can best support anxious students (and their parents) in the school setting.

Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit.  The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit. 


Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participant’s their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), or Washington State Clock Hours or Oregon PDUs. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours and Oregon PDUs.



Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.

  1. Completion of Information Acquisition assignments 30%
  2. Completion of Learning Application assignments 40%
  3. Completion of Integration Paper assignment 30%


CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.

AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering determine with your district personnel, department head or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.



Required text, Growing Up Brave by Donna B. Pincus, 2012, is available used from for approximately $8.

  • Growing Up Brave: Expert Strategies for Helping Your Child Overcome Fear, Stress, and Anxiety
    ISBN# 0316125601
    by Donna B. Pincus
    Little, Brown Spark

    Buy from Amazon


Text, Growing Up Brave, is approximately $8 from Amazon.


Lori Gibson, M.A., currently works for Spokane Public Schools as an elementary counselor. Lori holds a Master's in Counseling Psychology, as well as a K-12 teaching certificate. Over the past 22 years she has held positions as a counselor for North Chicago High School in Illinois and the Lake Washington School District in Kirkland/Redmond, WA. During those years she served and/or provided leadership to the LWSD Safety Committee, both districts’ critical incident teams, and the LWSD Elementary Counselor Leadership Team. She has instituted proactive, early intervention school-wide programs including Steps to Respect, Kelso's Choices, Peace Builders and Peer Mediation. Lori has also taught parent education classes and volunteered for over fifteen years in community settings with children and adolescents. 



Clark, Taylor. Nerve: Poise Under Pressure, Serenity Under Stress, and the Brave New Science of Fear and Cool. Hachette Book Group:  New York, NY, 2011. 320 pages. ISBN 0316042897
This book is a well-researched look at the psychology of the “nervous trinity” (anxiety, stress and fear). The author’s main point is that instead of seeking to not feel anxious – we should have a different approach by embracing our worries and develop the coping skills to move through them. This book is an interesting and fun read and includes inspirational stories of people who have overcome anxiety, as well as the fascinating details about how the brain works during time of extreme stress.
Dacey, John. and Fiore, Lisa. Your Anxious Child: How Parents and Teachers Can Relieve Anxiety in Children. Jossey-Bass: San Francisco, CA, 2000. 256 pages. ISBN 978-0787949976
This is a straight-forward and practical book about childhood anxiety. The framework is very understandable and there are numerous practical and effective strategies.  This is a good text to give as a resource to parents of anxious students.
Kriete, Roxanne. The Morning Meeting Book, Third Edition. Center for Responsive Schools: Turner Falls, MA. 2002. 232 pages, ISBN 978-1892989604.
This book is a “must-have” for all K-8 classroom teachers. It clearly explains the purpose of a morning meeting and gives detailed instructions for conducting one . The investment of time that you give to the morning meeting format will pay off in the dividend of a respectful, safe and caring classroom community.
Restak, Richard. Poe’s Heart and the Mountain Climber: Exploring the Effect of Anxiety on Our Brains and Our Culture. Three Rivers Press.  New York, NY, 2005.  256 pages. ISBN 978-1400048519.
This explores in great detail the science of anxiety and stress. It is a fascinating read and provides guidelines on how to manage anxiety. Throughout the book it is clear that Dr. Restak believes anxiety and stress can be beneficial to our lives if we understand  and handle them correctly.  
Tompkins, Michael. and Martinez, Katherine. My Anxious Mind: A Teen’s Guide to Managing Anxiety and Panic, 2010. Magination Press: Washington D.C. 196 pages. ISBN 978-1433804502
This is an excellent resource for upper elementary through college-aged students. It clearly explains the issues of anxiety in a non-judgmental and entertaining way. The book is easy to understand and is full of simple, effective tools that kids can easily implement for themselves.