Are you finding yourself yawning in your classroom and struggling to make it through the day? Here are our tips for how to combat boredom as a teacher.
When Teachers Get Bored
If you've been teaching for more than just a few years, you're likely to run into some boredom sooner or later, especially if you've been teaching the same subject, grade level, and lessons. We don't blame you. Teachers are really the only people working with the same academic material, year after year, with little change. But students can tell when their teacher is unengaged and disinterested. It's up to you to find the same enthusiasm you had when you first started, for your students' sake. Here are our suggestions for how to handle in-class boredom.
Pump up the Fun in Your Teaching
If we're being completely honest, there is a possibility that you're bored during class because your classes are, well, boring. We don't mean to be harsh, but if your instruction consists primarily of dry lectures, rote memorization quizzes, and silent reading time, we're not surprised you're finding your classes boring. If this is the case, it's almost guaranteed your students are bored, too. Consider spicing up your classes with more creative activities, games, hands-on assignments, and even field trips. Everybody will benefit.
Refresh Your Materials
If you've been teaching math for 20 years, it's possible that you've been relying on the same old textbooks, worksheets, videos, and more. Why not? Math rarely changes. But going back through your collection of teaching materials and updating them will assure that your students are getting the most up-to-date information and that you have something new to engage you. This can apply to all subjects. If you're an English teacher, consider teaching some different poems and books than last year. If you teach science, why not find some new experiments to demonstrate the same concepts?
Try Out New Teaching Tools
In addition to refreshing the teaching tools you've always relied on, you can also consider adding new tools to your kit. You can browse Pinterest for a variety of ideas, as well as various online teaching websites that offer tools like video lessons, interactive quizzes, and more. Some tools we love include:
- Newsela - An online tool for teaching current events
- Teachers Pay Teachers - Just like its name suggests, this tool lets you buy creative teaching materials from fellow teachers.
- Kahoot - Allows your entire classroom to collectively play a quiz game
- Twiddla - An online whiteboard
- Study.com Teacher Edition - Includes access to video and text lessons, lesson plans, discussion questions, activities, and virtual classrooms
Experiment with New Teaching Strategies
There are many innovative new teaching methodologies that have grown in popularity in recent years. Giving them a try is a great opportunity to reach your students in a new way while keeping yourself engaged. We recommend looking into:
- Blended learning - Combines digital media with traditional, in-class learning. This is the type of instruction that includes passing out laptops or tablets to students during class time.
- Flipped classrooms - This involves reversing the traditional learning model. Instead of lecturing during class and assigning homework to be done independently, the flipped classroom introduces concepts outside the classroom and uses class time to engage with the concepts and do activities that might have traditionally been assigned as homework.
- Differentiated instruction - A framework where different students are given different lessons, assignments, and assessments to address their particular educational needs.
Variety is the Spice of Life
People are engaged by variety. Just like you would be bored by eating the same thing every day and reading the same book over and over again, boredom is inevitable in a classroom that stagnates. To combat boredom, make some changes. Try new things. You and your students will both appreciate it.
Looking for a resource for video lessons to show in class? Check out Study.com's library of over 70,000 lessons in every subject.