‘Sir, may I 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 that typically students give you when they are unable to concentrate on the lesson or, to be specific, get bored. There are multiple reasons 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 parents about their children’s boredom in the school, some responded that the content is way too easy for their children; therefore, they get bored. Others believe that the teacher might not present the material so that students would get engaged. Both reasons are 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
Some students may predict teachers planned activities and complete the task way ahead of the other students, making them bored during the rest of the session. I heard most teachers call these students’ over smart’ or ‘overconfident’. However, I believe it’s not the students’ fault that they are intelligent and sharp-minded. A teacher needs to understand what these students are trying to tell you that they are not sufficiently challenged in the class activities. It does not mean that under-challenged students are less competent. It says that they can compete 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 completing their paper instead of making things tidier.
Lack of Student Motivation
Student motivation has sometimes been affected by internal factors such as ‘I already know this stuff, I read it somewhere etc.’. This ‘already know’ attitude makes them feel that they will not learn something new. As a result, they hardly pay any attention to the classwork. However, it is unfair to consider under-motivated children the same as ‘lazy’ children. There are some situations where a lack of motivation can signify an underlying issue, such as childhood depression or ADHD. It is significant to understand that student’s behaviour is not something that is under their control, it is tied to their mood and during their adolescence, students’ mood often swings.
Also Read | Why Students’ Mood Swings after Adolescence
Need Help in Developing Social Skills
Children usually feel isolated when they cannot forge a bond with their peers and even with their teacher. This sense of isolation helps to develop their boredom. Another reason can be that if a child is unable to build a comfortable relationship with anyone in their classroom, they might feel there is nowhere to turn to seek help with their work. The dire need for a helping hand sometimes makes students demotivated and bored as they have already developed an assumption that they will not complete the task on their own successfully. Therefore, most of the time, helping students bond with their peers 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 comprehend the classroom tasks, such as managing or enquiry (research) skills. 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 are usually unaware of their children behaviour. 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 to any conclusions.
How would I know that my child is getting bored due to the aforementioned reasons? Following are some steps that parents need to follow.
Help your child make a list of tasks and things 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 what you think might help your child perform well in classroom tasks and activities. Brainstorm the ideas and strategies; this will allow teachers to take necessary steps and plan lessons accordingly.
How do you handle your child’s/students’ boredom at home or classroom? Share your strategies in the comment box below.