One of the persistent behavioral issues that I’m seeing here in the high school is really simple: Our kids don’t know how to be bored.
By this, I don’t mean that I’m excusing boring teachers. Nor do I presume to know why the kids have this problem, as much as I’d like to attribute it to things…
I agree and disagree with you on this. Your assessment of the situation seems right on, but again I am not sure we should see this as a problem caused by the students… We don’t cultivate experiences in class or society where boredom or quiet time is honored or held up as something to strive for.
Everything in schools is about seat time and being on task, about everything being planned and shaped to be efficient… We continue to take away play and take way moments where children of any age are not suppose to be doing something. Not doing something is seen as a waste of time. With helicopter parents and standardized tests, With every minute of the day planned and guided by adults students never cultivate the ability to do things on their own, to find quiet places to just think, or just be.
One teacher in one class is probably never going to be able to undo all the harm our society has placed on our children, but I do think you can provide a space in your classroom for allowing unplanned, unguided, student led learning.
Provide spaces for meaningful boredom, activities that ask students to mindfully be, to listen deeper, to look and not just see, to be in space and time.
That being said, teachers have the same problem. The system is not set up to allow teachers the time to just be, to reflect, to uncover, to meditate, or even to learn.
So to ask a teacher to find time to allow his students to do these things sounds like madness. Your right! It is madness that teachers or student don’t have time to be bored or learn how to be bored. Yet, until we bring up these issues with other teachers and our students, with parents and administrators nothing will change.
You can start though in your own classroom with your own students. Bring it up. I can’t of a better topic to discuss with teenagers…
Ask your students, “What does it mean to be bored?” or “why might it be a good idea to be bored?”
anyway just my two cents…..
—Adventures in Learning