‘Sir, may go to the toilet? Sir, may I go to drink water? Sir, my head is aching. I am not feeling well; can I go outside for a bit?’ These are the excuses which normally students give you when they unable to concentrate on the lesson or, to be specific, get bored. There are multiple reasons why children get bored in school, such as not being sufficiently challenged or simply not feeling motivated by the subject matter being discussed in the classroom. While asking reasons from parents about their children’s boredom in the classroom, some responded that the content is way too easy for their children; therefore, they get bored. Others believe that teacher might not be presented the material in a way that student would get engaged. Both reasons are, no doubt, possible but these are not the only reasons.
Following are some of the possible reasons which might be responsible for children’s boredom in the classroom
Children are not Adequately Challenged
It is possible that some students may predict teachers planned activities and completing the task way ahead of the other students, that makes them bored during the rest of the session. I heard the majority of teachers call these students ‘over smart’ or ‘overconfident’. However, I believe its not the students’ fault that they are smart and sharp minded. It is essential for a teacher to understand what these students are trying to tell you with this attitude that, they are not sufficiently been challenged in the class activities. It does not mean that under-challenged students are less smart. It says that they are capable of competing with other kids, but these children don’t always present the way other kids perform in the class. Many under-challenged students are chaotic in their work, don’t study much, still get good grades because they focus on the completion of their paper instead of making things tidier.
Lack of Student Motivation
Student motivation has sometimes been affected by the internal factors such as ‘I already know this stuff, I read it somewhere etc.’. These ‘already know’ attitude makes them feel that they will not be going to learn something new. As a result of which they hardly pay any attention to the class work. However, it is not fair to consider under-motivated children same as ‘lazy’ children. There are some situations where a lack of motivation can be the sign of an underlying issue, such as childhood depression or ADHD. It is significant to understand that students’ behaviour is not something which is under their control, it is tied to their mood and during their adolescence age, student’s mood often swings (Read: Why Students’ Mood Swings after Adolescence).
Need Help in Developing Social Skills
Children usually feel isolated when they unable to forge a bond with their peers and even with their teacher. This sense of isolation helps to develop their boredom. Another reason can be If a child unable to build a comfortable relationship with anyone in his/her classroom, they might feel as though there is nowhere to turn to seek help with their work. The dire need of a mate or helping hand sometimes make students demotivated and bored as they already developed an assumption that they will not be going to complete the task on their own successfully. Therefore, most of the time, helping students to bond with their peer helps to minimise their anxiety level and makes them motivated during the session.
Deficiency of Learning Skills
Sometimes, students get bored in the classroom because they lack skills that help them to comprehend the classroom tasks, such as managing or enquiry (research) skills. It is possible that a child who could benefit from learning how to manage his time or create a plan for a long-term project might say ‘I’m bored’ when he means ‘I don’t know how to do this, so I don’t even want to try.’
The Role of Parents
Parents usually unaware of their children behaviour, it is possible that they might have an under-challenged, unconnected child with poor test-taking skills just as quickly as a simply unmotivated child. The idea is to find out the reasons why your child always says ‘today’s class was boring’ before jumping any conclusions.
How would I know that my child is getting bored due to the reasons mentioned above? Following are some steps which parents need to follow.
Help your child to make a list of tasks and things that were taught and learned in class. Try to get answers to these questions:
- What did you find annoying?
- Were you done before the other kids?
- Do you enjoy the topic?
- Did you enjoy the task itself?
- Did you like the way the content was presented to you?
- What would you do differently if you were to teach that lesson or present that topic?
Lastly, start involving your child’s class teacher in your child’s boredom matter. Share with them what you think that might help your child to perform well in classroom tasks and activities. Brainstorm the ideas and strategies; this will help teachers to take necessary steps and plan tasks accordingly.
How you handle your child’s/students’ boredom at home or classroom? Share your strategies in the comment box below.