Thriving School Psych Thriving Students

What Do Kids Mean When They Say “I’m Bored” At School?


When you hear a student say, “School is boring!” how do you respond?

As a school psychologist, I tend to hear one of two reactions from adults:

Reaction #1: Pinkie Pie-ing the Situation

We jump in, optimistic Pinkie Pie Style, and try to convince kids that school is sooooo much fun!!! This is a common reaction for those like me who loved school growing up (I loved school so much, I even played “school” on the weekends! 😳 ).

In fact, here is actual footage of me, projecting my experience of school being fun onto kids who have just told me it’s boring:


Reaction #2: Normalizing Boredom 

Or, I’ve seen the opposite, where well-meaning adults downplay feelings of boredom as a fact of life that is normal and expected at school.

They might say, “Being bored is just a part of school that you have to deal with. Not everything is going to be exciting.”

Especially if you have this guy as a teacher:


While neither reaction is inherently wrong, what both of these reactions miss out on an opportunity….

Check out this new guest post I wrote for the Greater Good Science Center Magazine to find out how you can turn “I’m bored” into an opportunity to boost connection, understanding, and school engagement.




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