Every classroom is incomplete without a classroom joker who has a sporty spirit and becomes the cynosure of all eyes through his gimmicks and funny acts. Similarly, there is always someone who is a back bencher and tends to dose off while the lecture is going on and is identified as the ‘sleepy head’ of the class. Often these children may be left unnoticed and tend to go deeper into their shell while in some cases the teacher pin points them, making them feel embarrassed. What exactly is the right way to approach this dilemma? When you encounter any student who nods off frequently you may want to dig deep into the matter and find out the reason as to what is the underlying factor behind it. When you have categorically identifies what is the cause behind this erratic behavior you can go about handling the situation in an attempt to cure the child of this dilemma and help kids get back in the school groove.
The possible causes of being a classroom sleeper
· Disturbed sleep patterns: It goes unsaid that the main cause behind falling asleep during a lecture in class could be lack of sleep which is why you should let your child know about the importance of a good night’s sleep and instill good sleeping habits in them.
· Emotional problems: You never know what might be going on in the life of that individual that may have affected his thought processes. Perplexed and disturbed individuals tend to evade their responsibilities and the easiest retreat and escape is sleep. Their concentration span is reduced and they are unable to pay attention in class due to not being at peace in the mind.
· Side effects of medication: If your child is on a dose of heavy medicines, anti-allergic or anti-depressants that have a sedative component in them then your child is bound to feel drowsy at any cost. Such medications numb your senses and cloud your mind, making you fall asleep almost instantly.
What to do?
Wake up the tired child: The student might have gone to sleep bored by the monotony of the lecture and unable to stay awake anymore due to lack of interest, coupled with last night’s exhaustion. Show concern for the child and ask them if they are feeling alright. If you feel something is wrong send them to the medical room or else suggest them to go have a glass of water and splash their face with cold water to make the sleepiness go away.
Foster an interactive classroom culture: The teacher can analyze their own teaching skills and evaluate if they are at fault in not being able to develop that level of interest that is needed for the student to stay alert. This is when the teaching system should re-evaluate its flaws and introduce fun-learning activities that would serve both the purpose of getting academic knowledge as well as entertainment. Introduce stress buster activities which might most probably include physical activity and tasks of a less complex nature so that the students do not feel unnecessarily stressed. Furthermore, you could even incorporate e-learning and introduce technology into the classroom to keep the student in awe and to help maintain his interest.
Keep rewards for active class participation: Positive reinforcement is a great way to encourage your students to stay active. Start with small incentives like an award or certificate for active class participation or bonus marks or something like that. For younger children a few extra minutes of recess or play time would also do the needful.