5 Tips to Keep Students Awake and Attentive

Every teacher has been faced with the dilemma of sleeping students. The question is always whether to wake them up or not. But the problem is this: if you wake them up, you might ruin the attention of the class and embarrass them. If you let them be, you might be sending a message to the rest of the class that they can sleep during your lesson or that you don’t really care about them. No matter how frustrating it may seem, the best thing to do would always be to wake a student up.

Here are a few ways to keep them attentive in your class.

Suggest standing up and walking around.

Of course, some students find this activity a bit awkward or weird, but it’s actually a quick and practical way to wake students up. Although this might disrupt the class a bit, it will help them stay attentive for the rest of the lesson. Asking an individual student or the whole class to stand up and walk around can be a great way to use their muscles to wake them up. This way, their body sends them signals to wake up.

Interact with your students

Students usually get bored if they don’t understand a lesson. To help fight that, make every session interactive in a way. Allow them to ask questions about hard concepts, and ask them follow up questions afterwards. Although it may be hard, training your students to be critical about what you say can make them more attentive or at least more curious about things they don’t understand.

Call on students randomly

Asking difficult questions and only allowing one or two people to answer every time makes the other students think that they can just doze off. Instead of asking too many challenging questions, let the class work on problems as a group and call students who don’t normally recite. When they realize that they can be called on at any time, students tend to start listening more to anticipate your questions.

Use visual aids

Colors and drawings tend to help keep people’s attention. If you are teaching something, a few pictures or charts connected to what you are talking about can help a student learn more, simply because it is more interesting when you have a visual aid in tow. However, make sure that your visual aids are appropriate and are not distracting. Using visual aids just for the fun of it can distract your students and lead them away from the lesson rather than towards it.

Find your own source of energy.

Although some kids may scoff, being an energetic teacher can help keep them awake. Having consistent energy levels can rub off on your students. If you are enthusiastic and excited about your students, they will try to find the reason you are so excited.

This is better than being tired in front of your students, as they will feel tired too. Stay excited and energetic with your lessons and your students will follow suit.

Maria Dublin
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Maria is a writer, an editor, and a law student. She plays for the Philippine national touch football team, and does a lot of travelling during the holidays.