Children's Worst Threat Should Be Boredom

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What do you remember most about grade school?

My fond memories include field trips, birthday cupcakes, Treasure Island, and, of course, recess. But I asked what you remember most. Because if you're reading this, you probably spent years of your childhood in the classroom. And the memory that suffuses my school days is boredom.

I'm still in the classroom, but now I'm up front. I'm in my 13th year of teaching, and I've taught over a thousand students. And I've seen boredom on over a thousand faces. Some look like I imagine I did, with expressions of placid compliance. Others have a lower tolerance for tedium; their reactions tend to the more expressive. Teaching is largely the business of getting a bunch of kids to do something when they'd rather be doing something else. There's a reason children run out of school at dismissal.

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