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I've structured papers around the topic of "This class is boring." http://thereflectiveteacher.blogspot.com/2005/09/boring-team.html

This is especially helpful in teaching an argument/persuasive essay. It gets the kids thinking about the thesis statement, and how to follow up that list with specific evidence.

It sounds like you were doing something very similar. Maybe a follow-up lesson dealing with other types of writing on the same topic.

Of course, the topic you used was very helpful in making reflective learners of your students.

Looking forward to what you do as a follow-up.


you could also post those positive attitude quotes around the room, to serve as constant reminders. when they start complaining, point to a quote...they'll remember.


GREAT lesson. I would like to borrow (steal?) it when my cherubs start to drive me crazy with complaining. (The other day, a young man (well . . .) complained that he couldn't possibly do his work when he hadn't brought a writing tool to class. He was actually angry with ME for this.

Extend by having each class come up with a sort of credo -- THEIR words, and post that. Maybe even have everyone sign off on the posted credo. Refer them to the credo whenever they begin to complain.

Maybe have them write about what complaining gets them -- "How's that workin' for ya?" Include what to do when you feel like you should complain -- what's a better way to get what you need?

Mrs. N

Just before the end of the semester, when kids were complaining and stressing out about projects and papers and massive homework and low grades in ALL of their classes, I gave the students one period to pick a quote from several "quote books" and websites I'd gathered. They had to copy it onto 9x12 paper and then write a short paragraph - like you did with the small groups - about what it means to them and how if could affect their life. So from you picking to them picking. Aside from the above suggestion to post the ones you worked with, that might be a good follow-up... in reserve for a rainy day.


Maybe when someone complains, you can have the class stop and write a paragraph on the positive aspects of the subject that was complained about. possibly, if they have to think and write about the positive aspects they will begin to realize that there are actually positive aspects to most things. It also won't hurt them to have to do a quick write every now and again.


You had a wonderful idea in response to their negativity. I am currently learning about behavior modification in the class I am taking for my certification. I wonder if you could positively reward them if they don't complain. Maybe let them know that if they don't complain they will be able to use the computer at the end of class, or something like that.


I don't have any advice about further action, as I am not yet a teacher and am primarily on here to learn, but I applaud you for seeking proactive solutions to what I'm sure is a pervasive (and annoying) problem. Being proactive rather than reactive or punitive is the harder road, it seems, but is hopefully worth it. One teacher I read recently seemed to think so:"I believed in creating a positive learning environment for my students and found that, while this was sometimes more difficult than being punitive, the higher level of student engagement was well worth the effort." I find the fact that you got the students engaged in an exercise about bordom amazing - in that moment, they were no longer bored.

Jan Zeiger"Creating a Discipline Plan: Tips for Developing and Implementing a Behavior Management Plan." Online. 19 July 2007.

SFCCNM student

I enjoyed your idea for improving the learning environment in your classroom and would suggest two things. first, you said you were nervous your students would return to their old ways. I suggest challenging the students to internalize those quotes. Have them pick their favorite, memorize it, and then be held accountable to it for the rest of the semester.
Secondly, to give the students an idea of what it is like to deal with negative attitudes I suggest a role reversal (Barbara Larrivee, Authentic Classroom Management, p. 233). YOu could work into a lesson that a group of students must teach the class something. That way they would experience first hand the difficulties in teaching and how important their role as student is in the classroom environment.


Thanks for the quote. ;)

R Wells

Here is a fun intervention. When students say school is boring, you can say "You're right, nothing like the excitement of the unemployment office." Our site has thousands of additional intervention for "I'm bored" plus "I don't need school," "I'll never need school because I'll be a sports star," and all the other lines you hear. Hope this helps but if not, check out our site for more: http://www.youthchg.com. P.S. Really enjoy your blog.

Sarah Denham

Hello, I am a junior at the University of South Alabama and I am majoring in elementary education. On of my assignments for my EDM 310 is to create a personal learning net work (PLN) in which I can use to help me as a new teacher. I am also taking EEC 300 right now and it is one of my favorite classes. I believe an effective teacher has to have good classroom management skills in order for the students to fully profit from the class. I would greatly appreciate it if you would email me so we can talk futher about this topic. Also feel free to look at my blog. Thank you for your time.

Character Education

I am also a teacher and i know about the students behavior, some students are really very obedient, now i was looking for some new ideas to teach them, your post is awesome and now i am going to try these ideas and will let you know about the results.


It is great to be able to refer to a site where you talk about real life classroom experiences and what other teachers are doing in these situations.
THanks for sharing.

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I completely agree with your post because some student is sensitive so that's why positive attitude is much needed way for good studies.


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