“A student is characterized by his curiosity,” some wise man had said. But most times a student has no option but to be bored in the classroom. Why do students (including me) are often bored in the class? Let’s first look at a case and then my experiences on being bored.
A Sudden Realization
Yesterday, as I was studying the Himalayan evolution (chances are that you will be bored by the wiki article), I involuntarily let out these words: “There must have been a trench in between the Indian and the Eurasian Plates.” (Watch an animation of the collision here) My sister looked curious. I asked her if she had heard of Java and Mariana Trench. And then went on rambling about the evolution of the mountains in the Himalaya. When I ended, she said, “I understood just one thing.” It was that the plates collided to give rise to the mighty mountains. Other than that she understood NOTHING.
A Little Time-Travel
Last year. . .
My teacher (with due respect) used to give a non-stop lecture on the Himalayan evolution. At first, I felt curious and understood a little. A little later, he came up with heavy technical terms. Had I gone through it earlier, I might have felt it easier. But the heavy vocab killed my curiosity. Within less than a month, I was leaving classes.
Obviously, that is the reason I am studying Himalayan evolution NOW.
Back to the Present
I realized I was in the same condition last year as my sister is now with respect to the evolution of the Himalayas. I also understood why I left classes: Because I did not understand anything, and I felt bored.
The Mistakes Teachers Make
I have not taught in any school yet. I am not sure if I can handle the noise the students make. I don’t intend to hurt the feelings of teachers. However, I am a student and I can tell what mistakes of teachers bore me. So, here I go.
Mistake 1: When They say, “This does not belong to the course.”
Whenever my teachers say, “the thing I am teaching is not in your course/syllabus,” I react by slowly bowing my head and closing my eyes. I feel doomed. An hour for something that won’t fetch me numbers in the exam (no matter how practical that might be). I respond by taking a short nap or talking to a friend beside me (either disturbing myself alone or the whole class).
Mistake 2: When They DON’T Interact
Teachers think, Teaching is just giving lectures. In universities like mine, where there is very little time for the course-completion, this is absolutely true. There is almost no interaction between the teacher and the students in the class. Teacher goes on giving hand-written notes/showing presentation slides, and students (includes me) are busy copying them. The teacher does not raise questions which make me involved in the lecture. And as I have very little background information, I cannot ask anything.
- Teachers don’t ask relevant questions = Students don’t feel interested
- Students don’t feel interested = Students don’t answer
- Students don’t answer = Teachers feel superior
- Teachers feel superior = Teachers boast
- Teachers boast = Students get bored
- 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 = NO Interaction
- Also, 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 = NO Interaction
Mistake 3: When They Look Confused
What can I say about anything if I don’t know it well? My teachers are learned. They have achieved doctorates, but they do seem confused at times. Maybe they don’t have time to prepare. Maybe they feel they don’t need to prepare. I don’t know. But when they are confused, I get confused as well. I might try solving the confusion later; but only to point out their mistakes, sarcastically.
Mistake 4: When They Use Heavy Vocabulary
The first step in my education began from the letters: A, B, C. Then I was taught words: Apple, Ball, and so on. After that, I was taught to read sentences, paragraphs and stories. My language skill did not develop by magic. It took time.
I need time to understand my lectures as well. My teachers, however think that I should know everything within an hour of lecture. So, they rush on. When they use strong vocab and do not explain them well, I am gone; stumped.
A Look to the Future
I might have to teach people who are going to outsmart me (logically as well as technologically) in the upcoming days. Let me be guided by this post then.