Paying Attention

Paying attention to what is being taught in the classroom can be difficult for some people. However, there are some techniques you can use that will help you pay attention so that you can get all the benefits of being in class.

Preparing yourself to pay attention begins before you even enter the classroom. Before class, make sure that you are organized with all of your materials. Do you have your textbook, notes, a writing utensil, and homework? Next, take a few moments before class to review information presented in the last class. This will help put you in the mind set of being in a classroom environment, and it will help you prepare for the main ideas and objectives that may be covered today. Also, if you have any questions about homework, projects, or the class itself, try to arrive a few minutes early. By clearing up any concerns before class, you will able to reduce distracting, worrisome thoughts.

Once you arrive, it may be tempting to sit toward the back of the classroom. However, positioning yourself in the front will help to reduce distractions. The closer you sit to the teacher, the less likely you are to pass notes, sleep, doodle, or talk to a neighbor. Sitting up front also guarantees that you will hear everything the teacher says, and that you will see all notes and other visual aids presented by the teacher. Put yourself in the mood to learn. Sit up straight with your eyes open and looking forward. If you slouch in your seat, put your head down, or assume a bored look, your mind will soon follow the mood your posture is presenting. Also, shift your position once in a while to allow blood to flow and oxygen to reach your brain. This will help you remain alert and attentive.

Be as involved in the class as you possibly can. Ask questions, take part in classroom discussions and group work, or engage your teacher in a dialogue relevant to the material. Taking an active role in class will help you learn the information, and it will keep your mind busy so it does not have time to be distracted.

You may also need to train yourself to not be distracted. If someone enters the classroom, if a person coughs, or if a door slams, you need to will yourself to not give into the distraction. Instead, stay focused on what you are reading or what the professor is lecturing about. With enough time and practice, those things that were once distractions will fade into the background so that you do not even notice them anymore.


Last Updated: June 4, 2019