Keeping students focused on learning can be a challenging task. Distractions can come in various forms and can deter students from paying attention to important lessons. As a teacher you must know what is distracting your students before you can present a solution to fix the situation.


Teachers are adamant that students are on time for a reason. When a student is late, she distracts and disturbs everyone in the classroom. A teacher can lose his train of thought and the students are too busy observing the latecomer fumble with her belongings. Late students also can cause repetition of instructions and information as well.


Talking is perhaps one of the most common distractions in a classroom. When a student talks to another during a lecture, he is distracting all the other students around him. When speaking out of turn, students can miss vital information, assignments and instructions. It can be a distracting chain-reaction effect. Once a student misses information, he may ask his neighbor what he's missed, which can cause more talking and confusion.


With the new technology of cell phones and laptops, students can miss whole lessons. Texting is an activity loved by students and if they have their cell phones on them, they will try to text each other while in class. If your school has wireless Internet (Wi-Fi), students become distracted Web-surfing and using social networks like Twitter and Facebook. Teachers should make sure that all cell phones are turned off and discourage the use of laptops in the classroom.

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Being Unprepared

Students who come into class without the necessary materials distract themselves and those around them. They will distract their neighbors out of boredom or ask them for missing materials. Some will ask for a pen, paper or to share a textbook, and unprepared students may zone out and not pay attention to the lesson.

Eating or Gum Chewing

Many classrooms have a "No Eating in Class" rule. The rustling of wrappers can cause teachers to lose their train of thought while the smell of foods can cause students to pay attention to the grumbling in their stomach instead of the lesson going on. Gum chewing is a major distraction in classrooms. Some students may smack their lips while they chew or even snap their gum in the middle of a lesson.