He's also talking about our students. They can't help themselves. If it's boring, their brains shut down, as do ours. Considering the weight of this fact is worthy of our attention, and it presents a challenge to those of us who make a living from dealing with brains all day. The blank stares, distracting behaviors, and general lack of interest need to be considered as possible byproducts of brains that don't pay attention to boring things. Honestly reflecting on these problems can be the impetus to a higher level of engagement and learning for all our students. I don't believe teachers are in the entertainment business though. I'm not about entertaining my students, but I am about engaging them, and I think there are a myriad of ways of reaching their brains.
I'm reminded of a real live example from my pastor, who incorporates many engagement strategies, like humor and storytelling, into his sermons. A few Sundays ago he began a series of lessons on connecting - connecting to God and to others, and he used Legos to make his point. He eventually gave everyone in the congregation their own blue Lego and sent them all on a scavenger hunt throughout the sanctuary to find their own hidden red Lego. I think it's safe to say that every brain in the building, from the youngest to oldest, paid attention to that sermon, understood its significance, applied it to their own life, and won't likely forget it either.
We don't pay attention to boring things. It's a simple but challenging thought that won't leave me alone, and I know it's because I must continually challenge myself to find ways to ensure that the brains in my room can't help but pay attention, understand the significance of what we do, apply it to their own lives, and never forget it either.