Have you noticed your students doodling in the middle of a class you put a lot of effort into? While it’s normal for kids’ minds to drift every once in a while, boring teachers can heighten this daydreaming.
Luckily, there are ways to keep them engaged and counter the negative effects of boredom on health and academic performance. Read on to learn the six signs of boring teachers!
Why Does Student Engagement Matter?
According to the Glossary of Education Reform, student engagement refers to the degree of curiosity and optimism students demonstrate when they are learning. It extends to their motivation to learn and progress as they advance education-wise.
Engagement matters as it acts as an essential factor needed to fulfill the educational mission. Studies have shown that engaged students are more likely to become hopeful about their future. These students are 2.5 times more likely to record good grades in their exams.
Additionally, schools with high engagement do an excellent job of preparing their students for the future than those with low engagement. Apart from educational benefits, other advantages include behavioral improvement and increased attendance.
6 Signs of Boring Teachers
You’ve probably encountered boring teachers who read aloud from a textbook and speaks in a monotone voice. And by now, the chances are that you have had countless opportunities not to become that teacher.
If you have taught for a long time, you’ll have learned how to recognize the flash of interest in your learner’s eyes. Learning how to extend such moments can prevent you from becoming one of those boring teachers.
1. Uses a Monotone Voice
Your voice as a teacher is a powerful instrument. It assists in setting the tone and environment for the remainder of the classroom. It also determines the student’s behavior, engagement level, and rapport with you.
When engaging your students, it’s not always about what you say but how you say it. You need to understand how your tone of voice can affect the functionality of your classroom. To remove the monotony in your tone, you should consider:
- Introducing some theatrics into your lessons: Avoid using a tone that’s too flat. Try to vary your volume and inflection. You can also get into character and introduce some fun into each lesson.
- Try to balance stern and sugary: Teaching is a stressful job. But you should do your best not to sound exasperated or angry. At the same time, you should avoid sounding too ‘sugary’ and use a more sincere tone.
2. Is Strict and Serious All the Time
While strictness and seriousness can motivate students to work harder, they can also make learning tedious.
It will drain your joy as a tutor, causing you to become unapproachable to your colleagues and students.
There’s a common misconception that laughing with students can encourage them to misbehave. But the reality is that learners misbehave for all sorts of reasons. And boredom in the classroom tops this list.
You have to understand that your students will find ways to have fun if they find your class boring. And this is something that you don’t want to happen.
You can deal with this problem by making your students feel included. Try to lighten up a little bit when teaching and encourage the students to have fun with the subject matter. These are tactics that will help you in becoming more likable.
3. Gives Out Too Many Worksheets
Another factor that separates a fun teacher from a boring one is worksheets. You’re unlikely to arouse curiosity in your learners if you insist on handing out worksheets. It doesn’t matter how well you have designed them; they will become boring at some point.
To kill student boredom, try to think of the last time they watched a movie or read a good book. Did you see them perk up? Were the students attentive and focused when watching the film or conversing with their classmates?
The brain areas that deal with motivation, memory, and reward get fired up whenever you become curious. Put simply, curiosity can motivate your students’ brains and make them want to learn more.
Some practical tips you can use to excite the students include:
- Asking questions and questioning the answers given
- Initiate a group work and discussion
- Practicing and encouraging active listening
- Presenting new material in chunks
Using these online teaching resources for teachers is also useful.
4. Has the Same Routine
Following the same teaching routine all year long will easily make you one of the boring teachers. While every teacher needs to have a proper structure and organization in their classes, there’s a need to avoid becoming too predictable.
Predictability leads to boredom and a decline in student engagement levels. It can also contribute to external distractions and in-class disturbances in some cases. Therefore, as much as you may want to follow your lesson plans, there are instances when you’ll need to adapt.
The ability to introduce changes into your classroom procedures and lesson plans on the fly will encourage student engagement. And while deviating from the lesson plan can throw you off balance, it will prevent the learners from asking, “why is school so boring?“
To ensure that you don’t always follow the same routine, make sure to:
- Take advantage of teachable moments
- Create digital lesson plans to allow for on-the-fly adjustments
- Prepare more than one lesson plan
5. Has Low Teaching Enthusiasm
Teacher enthusiasm and student motivation have a close relationship with each other. Properly motivated teachers can trigger learning motivation in their students. The reality is that you can use your lessons to positively or negatively impact the students.
A highly motivated teacher tends to have a positive impact on their students. While at it, you should note that many of the factors that lead to a lack of enthusiasm are pretty obvious. Most teachers don’t receive enough recognition, leading to demotivation and high-stress levels.
Additionally, many of the factors that can cause a lot of enthusiasm are often beyond your control as a teacher. Some of these can include:
- Curriculum limitations
- Daily workload
- Lack of social recognition
Though some of these factors are beyond your reach, it’s still possible for you to become a fun teacher. You can rediscover your teaching enthusiasm by:
- Flipping the lessons to eliminate boring in-class activities
- Replacing lectures with conversations
- Participating in projects
- Adding some mystery to your lessons
6. Lets “Teacher Mode” Always Kick In
Acting like a know-it-all when dealing with students will quickly turn you into a boring teacher.
There’s a need to understand that teaching and learning are inseparable. As such, if you’re to continue imparting knowledge, you must prepare yourself to learn something new daily.
Your curiosity becomes aroused every time you learn something new. It, in turn, allows you to relinquish the reigns, allowing someone else to control the conversation. By doing so, you get to add to your knowledge base and relate with your students.
For you to become an ongoing learner when dealing with students, you’ll need to:
- Learn techniques that can help you improve your memory
- Accept responsibility for your own learning
- Have projects and hobbies
- Create a personal learning toolbox
- Choose hobbies that encourage learning
- Try new things every once in a while
- Ask questions if you don’t understand something or if you become confused
- Set goals and maintain a “to-learn” list
You may not have enough time to engage in the activities mentioned above, but the goal here is to create time to become a learner. It would help if you led by example. Putting some of these ideas into motion will encourage the learners to become more engaged.
Kill Classroom Boredom
The six habits of boring teachers mentioned above can lead to low student engagement. Accepting that you’re a boring teacher can allow you to put steps into motion to reverse this behavior.
Don’t wait for student misbehavior to rise and student engagement levels to drop to accept the reality. The sooner you acknowledge that your current methods aren’t working as they should, the sooner you can change things.
Bringing fun and excitement, encouraging open discussions, and introducing breaks in-between subjects can help you get started. Don’t shy away from seeking help from your colleagues if the going becomes tough. They have probably had to deal with the same problem in the past.