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Your so boring

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Robfreeman, Feb 7, 2016.

  1. Robfreeman

    Robfreeman Occasional commenter

    I am fed up with this. I have been told this 9 times last week. No idea how to combat it, I'm not a clown. My year 10's come in and say is it a single lesson, they know all science ones are doubles, oh your so boring cant wait until we go to .... (insert name here, teach in rotation). Sitting here knowing that I'm going to just get told how boring I am and how they hate being in my lessons it really beginning to grate now.

    I actually had a student ask to change classes because I wasn't fun enough for him to learn anything. I might put on some facepaint and a red nose and start dancing.

    I shouldn't moan as I'm in a lovely school with great colleagues and the students aren't that badly behaved. This just really annoys me, what also bugs me is that I think I acutally am becoming boring, I know there are better more creative and interesting teaching in my dept and know I cant keep up with them, I'm not as fun as them and not as engaging as they are. It does make me question my suitability as a teacher, I feel I'm being lazy that I'm not upto date on marking, that my assessments aren't as good as others that I seem to struggle much more. So much so that for the first time in a long time I found myself looking at jobs outside of teaching.

    *rant over*

    Anyone else get continually told they are boring?
  2. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter


    Deal with it as you would any other rudeness, with a sanction. If you allow them to be so rude to you, they will continue to be so. No you don't have to be 'the fun one' but they do need to show respect.
  3. Robfreeman

    Robfreeman Occasional commenter

    I do go through the behavioural sanctions its just annoying.
    Thank you for picking up the grammar mistake that's why I don't teach English and do physics I can get away with minimal spelling and lots of drawing.
    pepper5 likes this.
  4. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    The odd fun thing can work wonders. It will be remembered.
    pepper5 likes this.
  5. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    And the little darling intend it to be annoying...
    It could be worse, they could be complaining they aren't learning because you are too much fun!
    How annoying would that be after planning and prepping a super duper whizz bang lesson?!
    joLT, pepper5, joannagb and 1 other person like this.
  6. whitestag

    whitestag Senior commenter

    "Thank you for your opinion, come back and discuss it with me at break. Now get your book out and write the title"

    I wouldn't give it a second thought. You're not paid to be a children's entertainer. The teacher I learnt most from at school just knew their stuff and knew how to teach it - it was down to me to learn it. But as @wanet says, the odd fun thing can be good, if it helps them remember something.
  7. finisterre_277

    finisterre_277 Established commenter

    I don't think you are meant to correct other posters' spelling and grammar. It says so in the Terms and Conditions.
    pepper5, BlueCarrot and zencat999 like this.
  8. -myrtille-

    -myrtille- Occasional commenter

    I agree about using sanctions if they're just being downright rude. And it's completely fair to say that you're there to teach them, not to entertain.

    That said, when I've overheard (nice kids, not being deliberately rude, just making a quiet remark to their friend) comments that my lesson is "the same as last week" or "boring" it has led me to think about whether I'm stuck in a bit of a rut with that group and am not teaching my best lessons. So then I've deliberately planned their lessons first the following week (rather than at the last minute when I'm knackered) so hopefully it's a bit fresher.

    I wouldn't do "fun" things just for the sake of being fun. But a bit of variety and different ways of getting pupils to practise the same content doesn't go amiss.
  9. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter




  10. palmtree100

    palmtree100 Lead commenter

    Ask to observe other teachers within the department? You could steal some ideas, and if nothing else it might reassure you that the other lessons are not as exciting as the students claim.
  11. JessicaRabbit1

    JessicaRabbit1 Senior commenter

    Do the students in your classes make progress? Are they learning? If so then you must be doing something right and at the end of the day this is the most important aspect of your teaching.

    I teach Y6 and am having to teach grammar to death which is the most boring task ever: I know sometimes that it's as dull as ditch water but the government says we must so I battle on it with. I do try to liven it up as best I can and spend a certain amount of time re-thinking lessons if I feel that they're too dry. Not every lesson can be a riotous hoot but it's worth taking some time to step back and appraise critically. Sometimes it's all about delivery too; I find that if I'm positive, upbeat and enthusiastic about whatever it is I'm teaching then the kids respond much better.
    needabreak, galerider123 and DYNAMO67 like this.
  12. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Kids say things like that for effect.

    I used to take some classes that said they loved my lesson and some that came out with 'I hate this lesson' type comments. My reply to the latter was 'I'm not here to be loved' and that was it.

    Some kids won't like you but many will.
  13. purplecarrot

    purplecarrot Senior commenter

    They're saying it to get a reaction.
    If you're in a rut, possibly try to get into the teaching and learning group (all schools ive been in have had one just for sharing ideas). If it's just then, then sanction as you would any other rudeness. They're relying on you feeling awkward so not correcting them.
    To quote students from a GCSE class when i said its going to be heavy going to close progress gaps: 'it doesn't matter because we're learning. We've had fun lessons and don't know anything!'
    agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  14. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    You realise they're probably saying this to every teacher, right?

    "Oh you're so boring, I can't wait to get to Miss Smith's class".

    Two minutes later in Miss Smith's class:

    "Oh you're so boring, I can't wait to get to Mr Ali's class"

    ...and so on.

    However, there's always a way to spice up your lessons. Play around with the balance between giving them information, skills which they need and engaging them in the class. Sometimes it pays just to give up a small part of your lesson to doing something fun, in which they probably won't learn much, so they're switched on to the part where they do actually learn stuff. Teachers get hit with the progress stick so often that your afraid of having at least a minute of your lesson where the kids aren't making 18 level advancements to their target grade. I once went in to a school where each teacher was given a couple of' get out of jail free' cards each term. They were encouraged to use them on classes they wanted to spice up by doing whatever the hell they wanted for a whole lesson (as long as it was completely different from their normal lesson). It meant that you didn't have to explain to SLT why your kids were tapdancing on the desks in period 3. It actually worked quite nicely from what I heard.

    So, be prepared to leave your comfort zone and cringe at yourself by trying something different. We get stuck in a rut with our teaching styles because we become so afraid that something new won't work and we'll just feel ridiculous but these are the chances you've got to take. Even if your new, fun activity does fall on its backside, the kids will probably appreciate the fact that you tried.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
  15. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    Do you always follow the same format/structure in your lessons so that you are very predictable? (This can translate into 'boring' in a teenager's head.) Do you chalk and talk a lot? Do you rely on PPT? Do they get to do experiments (investigations?) in your lessons? Do you mix and match solo work with group work? Is it that they don't see the relevance in the work to 'real life'?
    DYNAMO67 likes this.
  16. bizent

    bizent Star commenter

    "Not paid to be an entertainer"

    Gosh...where do you lucky people work?!!
    Dragonlady30 and joannagb like this.
  17. Bensusan

    Bensusan New commenter

    The key word from your post is "engaging". When kids complain that lessons are not fun, it usually means they didn't get to DO anything. Engage them. Get them to ask questions. Modify the lesson to include an opportunity to explore the questions they come up with (obviously questions pertinent to the topic). Give opportunities for them to discuss. Restrict the time spent passively listening or copying from the board. The most fun lessons I had as a pupil were the ones where the teacher got us involved in some way - i.e. we were not simply passive observers. Some of the least fun lessons were where the teacher was trying to be fun (or worse still, funny).
    waterlillies likes this.
  18. Bsprout

    Bsprout New commenter

    Set a homework for them to find 5 articles that they find interesting on the BBC Science and Nature site, summarise the articles and say what they find interesting about them (so you can find out what sort of thing they DON'T find boring). Or give them different areas of the work to research and then present mini-lessons to the rest of the class in any way they choose - let them see how difficult it is to present information in a stimulating and memorable way (make sure they are clear about what their peers need to learn from the lesson) - they will either realise how difficult it is and stop complaining, or rise to the challenge and enjoy each other's lessons. :)
    galerider123 and Dragonlady30 like this.
  19. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    "The monotony of you saying this every lesson is seemingly ironic dear…. Sit"
  20. SueFlewitt

    SueFlewitt New commenter

    I specifically asked my lovely students what they wanted to do. They wanted to do light and sound. So we made pinhole cameras, made vibrating ear coat hangars, played around with an oscilloscope/speaker/signal generator, used ripple tanks, prisms, did refraction experiments etc etc and my lessons were still "sh*t". So now instead of killing myself trying to design all singing all dancing lessons every time I'm plowing through the curriculum and it's tough if they don't like it! I do try to include as many practicals as possible but you can't do it every time and there are some things students just don't like. Don't beat yourself up about it! They'll be saying the same things to other teachers as well most likely.

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