Students Falling Asleep in Class?

24 Oct 2019 | Theodore

Your student falls asleep in class? Now what? We’ve seen, been told of it, or have done it ourselves—but what do we do when a student falls asleep in class? Should we let them sleep or wake them up and encourage them to stay awake? Depending on their age, there is only so much you can do; but the best suggestion overall—have a talk with them about it.

Did you know that the Hong Kong Education Bureau (EDB) found that students in secondary have on average 55 hours a week of studying (in and out of the classroom)? Some local primary school students may have anywhere between 7-10 assignments a day and some having to complete outside work on top of their school work.

For many of the students, it’s not about them being disrespectful but could be any number of factors. Below are some tips that could help:

  1. Talk to the students about why they are falling asleep.
  2. Create a routine where they start the day/lesson energized (they line up before class and walk into the classroom in a line) or you can help energize them before the day starts (playground, etc.).
  3. Introduce “10 second discos”—they can stand up and shake their bodies to wake themselves up can also be a great goal to work towards.
  4. Create small learning groups where they help each other to learn (create it using teams or worksheets where each person is a small piece of a larger study page).
  5. Create lessons where they spend less time sitting.
The main point to take away from all of this: talk to your students and try to engage the students in different ways.