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How to Make Boring Classes Interesting

MASUM BILLAH

Imparting class and sharing knowledge should be exciting, stimulating and empowering. When a class takes place in a boring atmosphere, the learners cannot absorb it and they feel insecure. So, it is teacher’s creativity which makes a boring class interesting and exciting through his/her specially designed classes. Teachers can start the creative teaching from the crucial phase-warming up or brainstorming. A teacher must remember that in a boring atmosphere the learners don’t show any interest to learn anything new. It is again a teacher’s initiative and effort to make a passive and unmotivated class into a physically activated one. A teacher can do it in various ways.

Pictures usually stimulate students’ imagination and eagerness in learning. A teacher can use relevant pictures in the class to stimulate the learners creating   a story or separated activities  without  any texts.  The emphasis  of this activity  is to activate students’ skill in making  sentences  through the stimulating  pictures. Then from the sentences he/she can   ask students to identify the verbs, adjectives and adverbs. Thus the students will learn sentence construction using their visual learning and learn clearly about different parts of speech which seem to be boring when learnt otherwise.

How to make boring class attractiveA teacher can teach the students vocabulary using a game. He/she can write down different words such as honesty, loving, nice and distribute them indiscriminately among the students. To make meaningful words he/she may ask the students stand side by side bearing the alphabets. Suppose, to make the word nice one student bearing the alphabet N in his piece of paper will come first, then student with I who will be followed by C and the last one with E. Remember if the teacher teaches a particular topic or chapter, it is better to choose the words from the context. Otherwise students may lose interest. It is worth seeing that a group is making a meaningful word standing side by side, other students enjoy it and feel excited to stand next to make their word.

A teacher must speak with energy, move about the classroom, put some body language into the lesson, and show the students that he/she is excited about what he/she is teaching. The teacher must remember that if he is bored, the students are certainly going to be bored. The energy that a teacher   puts into a subject may make a major difference in how well the materials are received. Another way to make a boring subject more interesting is to remember that people learn in a variety of ways. Some students are fine with being auditory learners; others are more visual and respond to imagery, graphics and video. There are also students who do best when they can engage in things that are interactive. When a teacher cares about these phenomena she can make a boring class interesting.

It is considered or thought ideally that education should be enjoyable for the students and teachers but it does not happen usually due to various factors. Sometimes, materials may not be so much thrilling, teacher herself is not enthused, students are mixed ability, and authorities show superiority and reluctance in matters of imparting real education. And teaching boring subjects is sometimes necessary but that does not mean that the teacher should not do their best to make the material more engaging. Uninteresting materials can still be acceptable if teachers are willing to put forth some effort with their methods of delivery. When she can take the full control of her class in terms of her own enthusiasm and creating the same among the students, she is sure to overcome all the obstacles as the students will dance with her, dance with the whole class.

It is the dream of a teacher that a classroom should be full of motivated students ready to receive all the things a teacher gives them. But in practical it hardly happens. This is the most challenging situation of a teacher. First a teacher should get ready to receive some complaints from a portion of students, some will show disinterest in the class while some students may behave otherwise. But your active work, enthusiasm and the delivery of harder and tougher subjects in digestible and palatable way will ultimately make all the learners responsive in the class. Injecting personal experience into the instruction can make the students feel that you are at least attempting to make a boring subject more interesting. Close eye contact can work here as tonic. But it is you who should decide whether the subject you are teaching is interesting or boring.  Nothing is more infectious than enthusiasm, if you can drum your own enthusiasm in the class; it will generate enough goodwill from your audience that you can talk about almost anything in a nicer way.  The interest and enthusiasm come from you not from the subject. So, you must show your interest to make a subject interesting.

Writer: Program Manager, BRAC Education Program and Vice-president, Bangladesh English Language Teachers’ Association (BELTA), Dhaka, Bangladesh.

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