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These are a group of children in your class who do not pose any form of disruptive behaviours but are constantly unable to focus for long during lessons and in some cases, may be unable to connect at all during lessons.

This causes a lot of challenges both for the teacher and the child as you find that the child rarely learns what is taught in class because he or she is usually absent-minded in class.
This group of children are called day dreamers and also known to have wandering minds.

Wandering mind

It is not uncommon to have children daydream in class. Sometimes they do this because they are bored and seek an escape route from their surroundings while other times, they daydream when an information sparks off a good feeling from a good experience.

Children daydream in and out of school. Even adults do too to a reasonable extent.

Note that children get bored for a lot of reasons: one is that the teacher is not enthusiastic about the lesson and so delivers with a boring method. Students can also be bored when they already know the content of the lesson or find no spark of interest in it. Also, If teachers do not engage their students actively in class, many may wander off in thoughts while staring at the board or teacher.

Research has shown that daydreaming allows the brain to work and produces better creativity, empathy, memory and helps the child consolidate on things learnt earlier. So, we should know that a little daydream in class is good as long as it does not interfere with an activity in class.

Daydreaming becomes worrisome when the child is always in that state and habitually loses focus on tasks set before him or her. This affects learning and ultimately brings about poor performance.

Recently, I was introduced to a young boy who daydreams a lot and rarely pays attention nor connects with the teacher during lesson periods. I was worried because the boy was not learning much in class. So, I advised the teacher to do the following:

  • Bring the child’s desk closer to the teacher’s desk.
  • Consciously call out his name while teaching, asking for suggestions, answers and examples.
  • Continue with evaluating his learning all through the lesson.
  • Make the pupils actively engaged during the lesson to reduce boredom also make use of charts, videos and practical sessions.
  • Teach the child to learn to stop himself when he wanders off and to return his attention back to the lesson.
  • Use sounds in the classroom like small bells, hand claps, music e.t.c to signify a change in activity or lessons or to inform the children that the time is almost up for a particular activity.
  • Walk around the class while teaching and occasionally stop by the pupil’s table while teaching.
  • Use different types of voice pitches while teaching to achieve suspense, excitement and a lively lesson.

There is need to monitor children to know if they are learning and to engage them actively in class.

Kindly share other things we can do as educators to help daydreamers in our classes.

For the love of Education
Melissa Chukwuma,
Lead Consultant – Groom Villa.


Photo credits: Google photos.