7 Habits of Highly BORING Teachers

No teacher plans to be boring! Yet, there may be sneaky teacher habits you have that invite student boredom! This post shares the seven surprising habits of highly boring teachers.

Not only will you find reasons why students may be bored in your class, but you can also grab a FREE GUIDE on how to keep your kiddos engaged.

*This post contains affiliate links to Amazon for your convenience. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, which do not cost any extra for you. Please see the full disclosure here.

Why Does Student Engagement Matter So Much?

Teachers work hard to make learning fun and interesting.

So it can really hurt when a student blurts out “I’m bored!” or “This is boring!”

But it’s about more than just having our pride pricked; student engagement packs a mighty punch when it comes to overall learning in the classroom.

So how can we maintain rigor and meet learning standards without being boring!?

One way is to avoid the sneaky habits that cause boredom in the classroom. (no over-the-top classroom transformation required!)

The habits listed below outline small changes teachers can make to keep students engaged and improve learning.

1–Talking In a Monotone Voice All The Time Makes You a Boring Teacher

The first habit of highly boring teachers is talking in the same tone of voice all the time. Yes, this is a habit.

If your voice is just going on and on all day, every day-you will start to sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher. “Wha, Wha, Wha, Wha…”

Someone is sarcastically saying right now, “I can’t help the way I talk, it’s just how I am.”

Intentionally spice it up by purposely changing your voice and its pitch.

For example, when I do read alouds with my students—even my older kiddos, I change my voice to match different characters in the story.

Switch it up! Whip out your best “aye, matey” or British accent! Even if you sound ridiculous, your students will be caught off guard in a good way, which will increase your interest to them.

2–Only Giving Worksheets Causes Students to Become Bored

The second habit of highly boring teachers is giving too many worksheets. Worksheets don’t pique curiosity. Even the cutest worksheets given over and over and over again will become dull.

Create curiosity with things like:

  • “Trash-ketball” Review games
  • Try using Plickers to assess learning. If you don’t even know what Plickers are or you want a refresher on ways to use them, click here. 
  • Using online tools like Kahoot for lesson warm-ups
  • Hands-on learning activities and STEM projects

Here’s an example: in the tips I give for helping older students with spelling, I use these jumbo-sized letters for spelling practice.

As much as possible, strive for ways to engage students without using a worksheet.

When you HAVE to give a worksheet assignment, make it fun!

Worksheets or writing assignments that involve movement or partner participation build student interest in learning.

I LOVE using Classmate Scavenger Hunts in my classroom. Not only is it an engaging activity, but it’s NO-PREP for teachers and MAJOR FUN for students! Click the image for more details.

3–Never EVER Changing the Routine Could Make Your Class Feel Boring

Another habit of highly boring teacher is keeping the routine and class flow the exact same, every single day, all day long.

I am all about some structure and organization in my life and classroom.

I often encourage teachers to “Harry-Wong It” all year long for better classroom management. But too much routine and structure become predictable to the point of boredom.

For example, if you run centers in your classroom on a regular basis, keep some structure, but throw in a different center activity or game.

You can find more centers ideas and resources here in my ideas post.

In this FREE Guide on How You Can Avoid Boring Your Students, I included some engaging activity planners PLUS a list of 20 ways to keep your students engaged. (no email sign-up required.)

It doesn’t have to be a big drastic change, a little goes a long way in jazzing up your routine.

4–Being Serious All the Time Leads to Student Boredom

Here’s another habit of highly boring teachers: they are always super serious around their students.

Teaching is fun and exciting! The more you enjoy your classroom, the more students will enjoy learning with you.

Give yourself permission to smile. Show enthusiasm for your subject!

The Butterfly Teacher
For Character Book Dress-Up Day, I participated with my students. I was the yellow crayon that quit!!

Being serious all the time drains your joy as a teacher, which makes you dull and unapproachable to students.

I Need to Be Serious for Classroom Management!

It is a myth that if you laugh with your students, they will misbehave more. The truth is that students may misbehave for all sorts of reasons.

And honestly being bored tops the list of reasons! When students are bored, they will find ways to entertain themselves.

Which will usually involve getting on your last nerve! Students who feel included and engaged may be LESS likely to misbehave.

Related Post HERE that deals with Student Misbehavior

When I lightened-up and had more fun in my own class, it made me more likable to my kiddos.

It also improved the classroom management and atmosphere because my students and I were connected more.

5–Always in “Teacher” Mode, Never in Learning Mode Creates Boring Teachers

One surprising habit of highly boring teachers shows up when teachers act like the “know-it-alls-of-life!”

To me, teaching and learning go together as one! If you are teaching, you should also (STILL) be learning! 

When you are learning, your own curiosity is piqued. You are no longer in the ‘driver’s seat,’ which makes you a little vulnerable.

Here are simple ways to be a life-long learner with your students;

  • Every time I go on field trips with my students, I sit among them and ask questions like a student.
  • In the classroom, I get on the floor and play games with my students.
  • Or I will complete the same STEM project I assign to them in class with them.
  • I have gone to Art and Computer classes with my kiddos to complete whatever the Art and Computer teachers had planned.
  • Get on the floor and read a good book during your class D.E.A.R time (Drop. Everything.And.Read)

You may not always have time to do the ideas listed above. But the point is to make time to be a learner. Allow your students to see it in action.

Being a life-long learner also keeps YOU from being bored too! Yes, teachers get bored too.

Try one of the ideas listed in the FREE Guide on How to Avoid Boring Your Students and make your classroom more fun!

6–Not Keeping Up With Current Events & Culture Leads to Classroom Boredom

This boring teacher habit ties in with habit #5 and habit #7: teachers that are clueless about the world outside their classroom become dull and boring to their students.

Our students are living in a social media-driven world that isn’t going away. Things change so quickly and culture has to be incorporated with learning.

The Butterfly Teacher Facebook Page
Check out my Facebook Page to keep up-to-date with current events. Click the image for more!

Whether positive or negative, knowing what’s happening helps you stay in touch with the things kids may be hearing at home.

Of course, you can’t consume every piece of news out there! That’s where breaking habit #5 comes in; let students share what they know and you become the learner/receiver of information.

A Post You Might Like: Useful Resources for Culturally Responsive Teaching

Not knowing anything other than your content/teaching subjects means your students may feel that you are just one-faceted and boring. 

7–Not Being Able to Relate to Your Students Causes Boredom in the Classroom

The final, but biggest habit of highly boring teachers is not being able to relate your students and their interests or lives.

Kids aren’t just our little renovation projects that we are tasked with “fixing” up. Kids aren’t just test scores. They’re humans.

They have feelings, interests (other than their favorite school subjects), they have families that they care about and more.

Find ways to connect and relate to them. When you relate to them, they relate to you as a real person and not just the elusive sage-on-stage, untouchable, all-knowing-Jedi-teacher! Hello, Boring Habit #5!

The Butterfly Teacher

Who do you teach? NOT, What do you teach?! Find out about the little humans in your classroom. Connect with them and you will overcome the “Boring Teacher of the Year” status!

Do Boring Teachers Know That They’re Boring?!

I used to be a boring teacher. The sad thing is that I had no idea at first.

Lack of student engagement, lots of student misbehavior, honest feedback from TRUE teacher friends helped me realize I had some unhealthy teacher habits.

We ALL need fresh ideas and inspiration for change at times. Even if you don’t “think” you’re a boring teacher, grab this FREE guide anyway.

Seeing the list of engagement activities may give you ideas you haven’t tried in your class yet.

Happy Teaching!

5 Responses

  1. That’s a great piece you have here. In my opinion, teaching is an art and teachers must always learn to evolve their teaching strategies.

    1. Thanks so much Daniel! You are so right: teaching is an art. I also think there’s a little science and strategizing to it as well! Which is why we all need to keep sharpening our skill set. 🙂

  2. I hate to admit it but the only way one can make progress is to confess the sinful nature and work to be better…but I am a boring teacher. I had more fun and was a lot more interactive with my Kinders. I moved and grooved with them. In third it is so much to do and teach, I find it hard to get along sometimes. I can have fun with some but with others, it is hard because they take it to the extreme. I am trying to be the all-inclusive, well-rounded teacher but I am also finding it hard to do it in the 3rd grade.

  3. This is an excellent blog post! Having fun in the classroom is so important! And, I am always referring to Charlie Brown’s teacher’s voice at my school so that part was really relatable for me too!

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