Apparently some of us in the office have accumulated too much stuff over the last few years. This morning the boss ordered everyone to go through book shelves and file cabinets in an effort to spruce up the place. We’re to throw out anything not up-to-date or being used.

boredom2As part of the process, I ran across an article titled Boredom and Its Opposite.

Authors Richard Strong, Harvey Silver, Matthew Perini and Greg Tuculescu use Adam Phillips 1993 definition of boredom

A form of depression—a kind of anger turned inward; and
A longing for that which will transform the self, making life and learning meaningful.

to help us understand how we can do our jobs more effectively.

The authors challenge us:

Instead of asking, Am I boring?, we can ask, When are students most likely to be interested enough to overcome the boredom that occasionally haunts almost any sustained act of learning? In other words, When and under what conditions do students care enough to work hard? This question shifts attention away from an obsession with boredom and toward a more productive fascination with ordinary human interest.

My notes in the margin talk about the authors mentioning the similarity between boredom and pain. And based on a document handed to me several weeks ago during kidney stone adventure,  a Boredom Management document comes to mind.

Patient’s Students’ Rights and Responsibilities for Pain Boredom Management

Patients Students are involved in all aspects of their care, including managing pain boredom effectively. Patients Students have the right to the appropriate assessment and management of pain boredom including, but not limited to:

  1. Information about pain boredom and pain boredom relief measures.
  2. Treatment by concerned staff educators who are committed to pain boredom prevention and management.
  3. Health Education professionals who respond to reports of pain boredom.
  4. Staff Educators who demonstrate belief and acknowledgment of reports of pain boredom.
  5. Staff Educators trained in pain boredom management.

The Patient’s Student’s Responsibilities:

  1. Asking what to expect regarding pain boredom and pain boredom management.
  2. Discussing pain boredom relief options with the health care educational team.
  3. Working with the health care educational team to develop a pain boredom management program.
  4. Asking for pain boredom relief or management when pain boredom first begins.
  5. Helping the health care educational team assess the pain boredom.
  6. Telling the health care educational team when the pain boredom is not relieved or managed.

It’s a different way to think about my responsibilities as a teacher as well as what students need to do. The article is incredibly interesting and as you prep for returning back to the classroom, something that is worth your time!