Over the years, the word "lecture" has developed in such a way that it automatically triggers sleep in most people's minds. The reason could be the fact that the teachers are more concerned about "what they are going to teach" and often forget about "how they are going to teach it". As a result, they fail to see that students falling asleep in their class is not an act of disrespect, but a natural scientific response to a continuous rhythmic (or near rhythmic) sound.
When we speak for a period of time with minimal amount of variation in tone, the listener's mind eventually adjusts to the continuous speech waves. When this happens, the listener automatically feels comfortable with the tone, loses or stops paying attention and gradually falls asleep. This is similar to how we fall asleep while listening to music, wherein the listener does not pay attention to the lyrics, but to the tone or the background noise which is rhythmic enough to put him/her to sleep.
If you are one of those teachers who wondered why the students slept in your class while you stayed up the whole night to prepare for the lesson to teach, then here are some ways to avoid students from sleeping in classes...
* Do not be boring:
The surest thing to expect is a class full of sleeping kids, if you are boring. If there is no interaction between you and the students, then your lecture will be boring. If your examples include typewrites as against the modern touch-screen keypads, then you will be boring. The point is, you should adapt to teaching in such a way that it includes things the students are most familiar with, so that they can relate to it. When they start feeling familiar with the things you are teaching, they will automatically become active and will no longer be sleepy.
* Be aware:
The fact is that there are so many people looking at you and you are the center of attraction as you own the podium, should be reason enough for you to be aware about yourself. You should wear pleasant coloured clothes as against the dull ones. Most importantly, you must know your body language. It is one of the major things that could make the audience give their attention. Make sure you smile. Remember, a "friendly-smiling-teacher" is the one usually popular among children and they never tend to fall asleep in his/her class. Keep their focus sustained.
* Bring in some fun:
This is the best way to keep the students active. Every 15 minutes or so carry out some small activity, like tell them a joke or ask them to stand up and applaud for no reason and then get back to teaching. This is very vital because the mind would have gone into adjusting to the rhythm and the moment you throw in some activity for even a few seconds, it will snap them out of drowsiness.
* Revamp your teaching style:
There are so many ways to get children involved in the classroom. Begin with establishing a connection with them. Know what they like to discuss and utilize what they know as an example to put across your ideas. Relate what you are teaching to what is trending in their discussions. This is the best way not only to prevent them from falling asleep, but it is the best way to teach as well. The students will be able to recall the lesson easily as it associates with something they already know.
Inspite of following all these tips, what if you find students still sleeping in your class?
You should inquire if the student has been getting sufficient sleep at night. Also, what kind of a breakfast or eating habit does the student follow. In case the problem is intense, you should request the student's parents to monitor the eating and sleeping habits of the child at home, as these habits have a direct impact on how active the child is.
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