Dear boring teacher - 7 things you need to know about your students to be a better teacher

“Dear boring teacher,

I’m the student sitting in the left corner in the back, craving and dreaming about some fun things to do instead of mindlessly sitting between the other students. I’m the one constantly staring at the window, looking at that wonderful place named “the world”. I want to go out and explore, see the world, and play and interact with it.

I don’t feel like just sitting nodding “yes or no” to every question about these (sometimes boring) subjects. You may find it hard to believe, but I’m quite the creative talent. Secretly, of course.

Well, dear teacher, do you have a minute to spare to listen to my suggestions for making things more interesting and fun? Even if it doesn’t work out great all of the time, the effort will be appreciated.

Do you know me?“

Do you know me? I’m the one with the 2000 followers.

I may be quiet as a mouse in class, but I’m actually a very social being: I’m on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Musically, … Maybe we can find a way to use social media in class? I found quite a fun blog with 25 ways to introduce social media in your lessons, maybe you can have a look?.

Do you know me? I’m the one with the parents getting into a divorce.

I had to sleep with my grandparents because my mom and dad were fighting again. I haven’t told you, but my parents are getting a divorce. There’s a good reason why my thoughts often wander out of the classroom windows.

The thought of living away from mom and dad is painful for me, but I still feel like I would like to focus a bit more on this subject. Sorry if I’m not attentive one hundred percent like I’m supposed to be, but just leave me be for one day. What would probably help me is for you to learn more about how to partner up with parents, my parents.

Do you know me? I’m the one standing alone on the playground.

Since I’m not getting much attention at home, my parents don’t see the bruises I’ve got since a few months. I’m tired of being bullied by other kids in school, tired of feeling alone.

What did I do to be mocked so much? Should I fight back, or just change schools? Or maybe, dear teacher, I can come to you so we can solve this together?

I know it’s hard to know how to react against bullying without being harsh to anyone, but maybe you could look at some tips on how to deal with bullies in your classroom?

Do you know me? I’m the one always rolling my eyes when you’re late in class again.

I feel frustrated losing 10 minutes everytime I have to wait for the same teacher being late. Shouldn’t teachers set the example of punctuality for their students? Maybe this teacher can find some help on time management in this article?

Do you know me? I’m the one who loves to play games.

Interactivity in lessons make a fun classroom, and that’s what I want to achieve. What if my teachers would get more into digital teaching, and use tools to stimulate creativity and playfulness in the classroom?

Well, Google Classroom now has something cool to work with…BookWidgets! Have a look at this blog post. It’ll show you how to gamify Google Classroom with BookWidgets' game widgets, all with examples and extra lesson ideas.

Or why don’t you use memes – funny images accompanied by witty one liners. I really like them, as they often depict real life things with a sarcastic spin to it. Here are a few ways to incorporate memes into your lessons.

Do you know me? I’m the one who doesn’t know her own abilities that well.

Sometimes, I’m so tired of always being graded on everything I do. Is giving grades really the only way to assess me? And what do these grades even mean? Maybe you could look at some tips how we can evaluate ourselves? It sure would be much more fun! 10 Self evaluation ideas for students

I would also appreciate some real, meaningful feedback instead of just a number or a letter. Words tells me much more than a grade. Have a look at this post and learn how to give some good feedback.

Do you know me? I’m the one getting outdated lesson materials.

Some of my teachers give me the same talk, year after year. Yes, yes, we’ve heard it before. It would be nice if you would update your lesson material from time to time, with footage of this year (or even this decade!).

Maybe us students can help you, by creating our own content and adding it to yours? There are a lot of easy, free tools online for us to use. For example, have a look at these lists!

Do you know me now? Then get on with it!

That was it! I hope that these tips will help you understand what it’s like for me, the student. Don’t take it as criticism, but as advice! We know you’ve got a lot on your mind being a teacher, so maybe these tips can help you clear things up!

Ruben Knapen

Join over 30,000 subscribers and get the best content on technology in education.

About BookWidgets

BookWidgets enables teachers to create fun and interactive lessons for tablets, smartphones, and computers.

Choose from over 40 exercise templates (quizzes, crosswords, jigsaw puzzles, ...), and adapt them with your own content.