Saturday, 24 September 2011
how do you fight boredom in the classroom?
As a teacher, my worst enemy in the classroom is boredom. If my students don’t understand what I’m saying, they’ll ask – or I’ll notice and try to fix things. If they’re shy, angry, tired, or just puzzled, I’ll help. But if they’re bored, there’s no way out. They won’t listen to me, they’re actually not with me. And if it’s me being bored – it happens to teachers as well – I’m not with them and no matter how experienced I am, a barely-there teacher is the worst possible teacher.
Now, you cannot possibly come up with something new, engaging, challenging, every single time. But European projects (eTwinning, Comenius, self-financed) can. That’s what they do for me: they actually bring people in my classroom – new pupils, new teachers, plenty of new ideas. Interest comes from novelty, learning comes from sharing.
It’s funny to see how the partners, thousands of kms away, are actually with us all the time. I can remember the warm feeling experienced during a History lesson, when one of my pupils suddenly came up with a bunch of questions “What are they doing now? Are they studying this as well? Our same History?”. A reflection started from there and has never stopped since.
Conferences, meetings - and awards as well - came through the years. We met other teachers and students, experienced different teaching styles, different ideas and realities. My teaching developed and widened, as I met and shared ideas with lots of teachers, experts and especially with pupils.
You can’t enter a community and keep unchanged, and this applies to the pupils as well. A bored student/teacher is isolated, while in a community you’re never alone. Via Comenius and eTwinning, the whole school system (including parents) could experience the power of team working and the importance of building bridges between individuals. Now we don’t just have lessons, we make experiences. And “experience” and “boring” just won’t go together. “Experience” means actually being there – together.
Now, here's the funny way Dr. Diana Hicks represented the student's school day:
What about you? Do you agree with her? And how do you fight boredom and keep your pupils involved?
Looking forward to reading your comments!
[more about this in my articles in Voices of eTwinning - European Schoolnet 2011]