A slice of scattered; A scattered slice

Slice of LIfe

Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers. Head over there for information and links to more Slicing! 

I’ve gone back to google 3 or 4 times in the past few minutes, always with a mission: find the lunch duty schedule so I can organize the team’s recess duties… And each time I go back to it, I open a different document. It’s not that I am wasting time on pinterest here, I am opening my reading plan notes,  my conference schedule (and okay, once I opened facebook instead – but that was worthwhile, as I found this all about using bubble gum, and my partner teacher is planning a bubble gum lesson, so I believe that’s what you call kismet…) (Oh – and okay, this last time, I opened the document but then came here to write my slice…) I just have so many things to do and my mind feels scattered.

At school I’m teaching, helping students with lockers, walking around getting people where they need to go, having meetings and occasionally stopping to pee (sidebar: It’s such a good day when there’s a stall with a clean floor, clean seat AND toilet paper, don’t you think?) My planning period is late in the day, and when my meetings are over, and I finally sit at my table, my mind is still going a mile a minute, trying to prioritize the one billion things that need to get done. I begin to work, and the students are back from Phys. Ed.

After school, I take a walk to try to clear my head (and get a wee bit of exercise… more than the constant circling of tables in my box — I mean classroom.) I change my schedule, have a conversation with my instructional coach, and pack up. Home by 5:20.

Washing lunch boxes, making dinner, eating dinner, cleaning up, making lunches, going outside to see the (amazing!) double rainbow and getting the kids showered, jammied, brushed, cuddled and read to (Harry Potter 5!) take me all the way until around 9:30… which is when I start… morning letters for tomorrow, finalizing plans, checking and responding to emails… and attempting to open that google doc, or the other one.

Then I realize it’s Tuesday, and this is my slice: My brain, the second week of school. I know this work is worth it – every extra thing I do to help my students build a strong community is worth it. Every email I write to parents, every well thought out plan for my reader’s notebooks — All worth it. But this exact moment, my eyes want to close, and my brain is too scattered. So I will take the advice I know you, dear reader, are thinking while you read this: Go to bed! Get some Sleep! Then, fully rested: make a list!

What other advice do you have? How do you keep your brain from getting scattered these first weeks of school?


3 thoughts on “A slice of scattered; A scattered slice

  1. I can so identify with your scattered thoughts. And your kismet, I had a personal moment like that yesterday – future slice fodder. Make the list, prioritize the list, stick to the list. This is advice easier given than followed, but when I did…I felt fabulous. You must prioritize because teachers never get to the bottom of the list. Congrats for all the good things you’re doing to build community and routines!

  2. Breathe, Ona! You have this! You are focusing on what is most important – do your students feel that you know them and like them, do you have fun with your kids and colleagues, do you laugh, do you spend time with your family – you are good, you have this, Ona! When I feel scattered, I stop. It takes more energy to keep going in my scattered state than to pack up and leave it for when my brain is much less scattered. That wait time helps me look at the scatter with a new perspective, one that is less filled because I have given my brain a break! Can’t wait to stop by and see you in action with your kids – that is where your joy is:-)

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