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Student Sleeper

Classroom Management 


I have a student who falls asleep in class almost every day. Originally, we were concerned. Is she not getting enough rest? is she not feeling well? Is something going on at home? We have been in contact with her parents and none of the above apply. Recently she got in trouble again for falling asleep in class and was sent to the office. In the office, she admitted to purposefully falling asleep in class because she does not want to be there. She claims she is bored but I'm not sure how. I have a voice that carries, I'm energetic, and I like to plan fun lessons. When she falls asleep in class I tell her she needs to wake up and do her work or if I catch her sleeping again then she will have to go up to the office. She falls asleep again, I ask her to go to the office, and she gets argumentative. Says she is not leaving the classroom and argues that she wasn't sleeping (her head was down and her eyes were closed). I do not know what to do? I have tried to take an interest in what she likes to do but she does not engage. I have tried to give her the benefit of the doubt with many chances. I just don't know how to keep her awake.


Senior Member
This is defiance.

I think that no matter if you provide the world's greatest lessons delivered by the world's greatest teacher that it will make any difference. This is a behavioral issue.

It sounds like administration is already involved ("we")? If not, just start documenting. Stay in contact with the parents, while subtly making sure they understand that you have a limited number of ways that you can intervene, always with concern for the child's future.

If your school or district has a behavior specialist, get help there. That way you've done everything you can. Most times, a behavior contract or self-and-match chart is suggested. If so, put the rewards on the parents if possible.

With difficult cases, I have charted behaviors. One student, I even charted every fifteen minutes. I just made a grid with the behaviors at issue and each time period was a box. That way, I could just carry a clipboard and make tally marks as necessary. Honestly, it helps when blame is deflected to me, rather than the student.

I really feel for you. We aren't psychologists, but we are often called upon to be therapists.


New Member
Student sleeper

It sounds like she’s looking for attention, and she’s getting it from you. You’ve done all you can. Keep a journal and document time everything-time, what you’ve taught, if she completed assignment, and her grade. Document everything you’ve done for her and the results. If she fails at the end of the year, you’ve covered your own behind. It’s a natural consequence of her behavior. You can’t convince her to want to be in your class, so stop trying. You’re exhausting yourself. Enjoy the rest of the year with your other students. Sad to say, but you can’t save every kid.