Slice of Life: I’m Bored

“I’m bored.”

All year I’ve blamed myself for this type of response.

Boredom: the nemesis of engagement. Perhaps, when were trying to teach someone. But could it also be a place of creation.

My first memories of boredom were on family vacations. The ones that took us through and to all kinds of national treasures. Boredom was a state of being on those trips. I got antsy. Wondered aloud when we were going to get there. And then,  I stared out the window, simply thinking. I remember how the landscape and structures we drove past triggered “what if” scenarios, stories.

Today, a long car ride is an opportunity.  I can’t do anything except think.

I have space to work through problems, get ideas.

I’ve found the treadmill provides that same kind of boredom. Running on the treadmill has become a place I can go to get ideas.

During testing boredom cropped up. If a student finished before their classmates, they were instructed to do a quiet activity of their choosing. A few read. Some doodled.  All seemed to relish this time just to relax. Let their mind wander.

Except for one student.  She was exceedingly uncomfortable. Antsy.

This time I didn’t feel guilty. I let her go there. Eventually, she settled down and found a way to keep herself occupied.

I wonder, how many students get the opportunity to be bored and to find the possibility boredom presents.

Hopefully, summertime will offer a place for boredom, perhaps a little discomfort, and then maybe a few thoughts will creep in. And then, who knows?

Thanks to Two Writing Teachers blog and the Slice of Life Tuesday. Read more slices here.

10 thoughts on “Slice of Life: I’m Bored

  1. I agree that the opportunity to be bored is denied to too many of our students. A little breathing room can do wonders.

  2. I don’t ever let boredom bother me anymore. Maybe that’s being a grown up. As you say so well, it’s an opportunity. Some days I’d like to be more bored. I had a student tell me he was looking forward to the quiet of testing. Hm. Maybe we need to provide more quiet times.

  3. Thank you for sharing the idea that working through boredom opens the door to creativity. I always jokingly say I pray for boredom in my life. Your post has made me think and examine boredom and maybe try to make some space for it.

  4. “I wonder, how many students get the opportunity to be bored and to find the possibility boredom presents.” What a great way to look at boredom. It really is an opportunity to dream all sorts of possibilities.

  5. I think that boredom was a gift we had as children, and that kids today seem to be denied this gift. I know my creative life really started with boredom.

  6. I agree with Tara that kids today seem to be denied the gift of boredom. It’s not about adults rescuing students from boredom. Students need to be able to do this for themselves. Thanks!

  7. OOH, to be bored! That would be awesome! I’m never bored. Always something to do. When my own children are bored, I give them choices: either relax, find something to do, or I can give you something to do. Of course, they always end up relaxing!

  8. Kids need to problem-solve their way through boredom. They have to invent something to occupy themselves. I feel sorry for the children who don’t learn how to do this.

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