What if someone has a tendency to sleep in class?


5 Responses to Sleeping

  1. Karl Mason says:

    You need to speak to the student about how being asleep means that they will be making no progress, you need to find out about their home life, you need to – possibly – inform some sort of Child Protection/Negligence advisor, basically you have to aim at the root cause. Aside from that, in your classroom you can not decide if a person is tired or not, you can only act upon their behaviours, I would wait until the end of class and converse with them.

  2. Sahra Swart says:

    I teach 6 and 7 year olds. Every year, I have had at some point, a child who is so beyond exhausted there is nothing to do but let them sleep. I guess it’s a little different for little ones (but remembering that here in NZ we start school at 5 and the kiddies start on or around their 5th birthday, so my kiddies are either 1 1/2, 2 or almost 2 1/2 years into their time at school).

    Often the only ones who need to sleep are kids that have a rough home life and aren’t getting enough sleep at home, and are not likely to be picked up and taken home. I have a couch stacked high with pillows and a few blankets, that when someone needs to sleep, we set up as a little bed.My other children are wonderfully empathetic and stay as quiet as possible to the child to have a nap.

  3. Ms. Miller says:

    I teach high school, and if I have a student who tends to sleep, I first tell him (and the class) the true story of a former student who went from a C average to an A average because he started going to bed an hour earlier and stayed awake during class.

    If the student still falls asleep, I inform him that he has lost his desk privileges and must now take notes standing up. I actually did have a kid manage to sleep standing up (so I left him alone), but I generally have them stand for 10-15 minutes. After that, all I have to do is ask if I need to have them stand up in order for them to stay awake.

    I actually have quite a bit of sympathy for students who sleep, because that’s one of my problems as well, so I’m not always as consistent on catching this as I should be.

  4. Ms. Miller: I’m loving that you frame sitting in a desk as a privilege that can be revoked. I wish I had thought of this last year when I had a student who would sleep through every lesson. Consider your idea stolen – thanks for sharing!

  5. hillby says:

    If a student is falling asleep, that either means you’re not doing your job as a teacher or they aren’t sleeping at night.

    You can ask the student privately if they are getting enough sleep. Ask about what in their life is preventing them from sleeping enough. Be prepared to refer them to a counselor or check in with the parents about nutrition, sleep habits, or other issues. It’s helpful to frame everything around “you need to sleep well so you can learn better in class.” That removes so many power/personal/pride issues. Depending on the student population, you may learn which of your students is homeless – or worse. Focus on the learning and getting enough sleep, which will help you deal with the potentially emotionally crippling information.

    However, if it’s just because class is dragging and you didn’t plan well enough…. time to change your instruction.

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