“I’m so bored.”
“Reading history is so boring.”
“I fall asleep in chemistry class.”
When I work with students across the Shoreline, Connecticut, I hear different complaints related to boredom. I mention our Connecticut location because we have among the finest school systems in the nation. Due to my work, I know teachers at Daniel Hand in Madison, Guilford High School, East Lyme High School, Lyme-Old Lyme High School, Old Saybrook and most every school from New Haven to Stonington. Most are outstanding school teachers. They take the time to prepare engaging classes and assign interesting homework.
I certainly recognize that even in affluent school systems in Connecticut there are too many ineffective teachers. Nonetheless, boredom should not be the main culprit for poor grades as it is for so many students.
“The ability to deal with boredom is an underrated skill.” I repeat this line often to my students. Sometimes, I get strange looks. Other times, my students nod with full knowingness.
How to deal with boredom? Active energy.
Here’s an example: Raise your hand as soon as possible during class. This could be to either answer or ask a question, assuming either would be appropriate. If skeptical looks follow, I explain: “Your energy will be drawn into the class. You will feel more connected with your teacher. You will be more likely to participate and stay engaged throughout the class. Try it.”
Those that do almost invariably understand my point. They are not as bored.
Use A Timer When Studying. Compel yourself to stay focused for a defined set of time. Artificially, try to increase your intensity. Try 10 minutes if needed. Work your way up to 20 minutes. Then, take a break.
Again, those that use the technique understand that active studying is more enjoyable (and not boring) than passive studying.
Whenever, we work with our students in the Student Mastery Program, we do our best to increase student engagement. Lowering boredom usually means raising grades.