Still, teachers can staunch boredom. Mehta and Fine (read sidebar) discovered that even in underperforming schools where boredom was near universal, “there were individual teachers who were creating classrooms where students were really engaged and motivated.” These teachers trusted students to sometime control the class. They tried to learn from their students as much as they taught. They weren’t afraid to go off script.
In some ways it’s no surprise Spanish and calculus were my worst subjects senior year: They had the most monotonous curricula and the dullest teachers. In Spanish we spent weeks watching the “educational” and horrendously acted soap opera La Catrina and more weeks slogging through call-and-response lessons recorded 20 years earlier, on cassette.
Why are elementary students generally excited about school work, but by high school are bored? While it would be awesome if there was one solution, bored students is not something that can be helped overnight.