By Teachers, For Teachers
Have you ever considered yourself a boring teacher? While you may think that students are hanging on to your every word, that may not always be the case. It’s safe to say that everything that you teach will not will not always connect with your students. If you notice that your students are bored or disinterested in class, then it’s time to make some classroom management changes. Refuse to be a boring teacher, and find a way to keep things interesting. If you find that you’re doing any of the things mentioned below, then you and your classroom management may be the reason for your students’ boredom.
If you’re the one that’s doing all of the talking, then you just may be the reason your students are bored. Think about when you’re in a staff meeting and have to listen to one person doing all of the talking. Do you ever find yourself getting distracted? The last thing that you want to do is lecture too much, because if you do, then your students will get bored. When you talk too much, it lessens the impact of words and students tend to tune you out. What you need to do is create a lot of activities that involve your students. Putting students into cooperative learning groups is a great way to keep students busy and engaged in their learning, without having to listen to the teacher do all of the talking. If you don’t want your students to be bored in your classroom, then make sure that they are doing just as much, if not more, of the talking.
Are your students sitting for the majority of the time they’re in your class? If so, then they most likely are bored. When children sit for a long period of time, they tend to get antsy, distracted, irritable, and annoyed. When you notice students are squirming in their seats, then it’s time to get them up and moving. Many teachers like to use brain breaks to help break up the day and refocus their students’ attention, while other teachers like to use flexible seating. Flexible seating is the newest trend to help combat antsy students and help them focus on their studies. Many teachers use exercise balls, wobble seats, and stand-up desks instead of traditional desks so their students won’t have to sit for long periods of time while learning. In fact, research has also found that short bouts of physical movement (like being on a stability ball or at a stand up desk) help students stay on task.
If your classroom is set up like a traditional classroom setting, where the teacher is standing in the front of the classroom lecturing to students as they take notes, then your students may find it to be boring. If you really want your students to be interested in what you are teaching, then you must make it interactive. This means that you need to get them involved in everything that you are doing. Many teachers find the jigsaw cooperative learning method to be an effective way to keep their students interested in what they’re teaching. This is where students work together as a team to learn and complete a task. The ways it works is each student is responsible for her own part, but must also work as a group in order to complete the whole task. By involving students in your lesson, as well as making it hands-on, you’re engaging them and making them interested in the content that you’re teaching them. The more interactive your lessons are, the less they will be bored.
Do you find that you make all of the choices in the classroom? For many teachers, giving up any sort of control can be intimidating. Traditionally, the teachers make all of the choices for their students. However, when you learn to give up some of the control, and let your students start to make a few of the choices, then you may just see a dramatic difference in your students’ achievement.
Try to give students a choice board. A choice board allows you to choose what or how the students will learn, while at the same time giving students the option to choose from the menu that you’ve created. Choice board menu options are endless. You can create a choice menu for any subject, topic, or concept that you choose. You can also create different choice boards based on the student. Struggling students can work on one board, while more-advanced students can work on another. It’s not only a great way to differentiate learning, but it also keeps students interested and engaged as well.
Technology is what students live for these days. If you want to make your class more interesting to your students, then you must incorporate some kind of technology into your lessons. Instead of always lecturing, try using a Smartboard and have students come up to the board and interact with it. Instead of giving students a quiz on paper, use a computer or, better yet, a tablet. Instead of having students work on a project together with someone in the classroom, have them video conference with another class from another state or even another country. When you utilize technology in your classroom, then your students will be more interested in what they are learning.
What do you do when your students look bored? Do you have any classroom management tips on how to keep your class interesting? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below, we would love to hear your ideas.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds Masters of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Hey Teach. She was also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @empoweringed, on Facebook at Empowering K12 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.