Eight weeks left! Eight weeks! In my school that means 4 more weeks with each class, as we work on a two week rotation for shops. Unbelievable. Can I get through everything in 4 weeks? What will I accomplish? What should I accomplish? As my students and I run down the clock, what will we be able to complete? How will we prepare for future years? How will we close out this year with dignity and grace?
Finding strategies for working around my ADD without meds has been challenging. I’ve incorporated two planners into my life; my standard teaching one, which I love, and a bullet journal. They are keeping me on task, mostly. I empathize with my non-medicated students even more since I went off Concerta. I cannot imagine hearing that, “Real men don’t need meds” or “Don’t take meds, Honey, think about your future children” and having to chose between the messages of your family and what you know will help you to succeed. Sadly, however, both quotes are repeated to me frequently by kids parroting their relatives. (Also, extra sadly, this does not just apply to ADD/ADHD meds.)
I’m not necessarily preaching meds for everyone. I think that the US public school system needs more breaks, more recesses, more times to get up and move every day. If our students were allowed to do that, they probably wouldn’t have such problems sitting still later on. Probably they could differentiate between times to play and times to concentrate. Another thing about recess is that I’d like to think that if students had enough of it, that it would stop meaning that teachers were supposed to be entertainers as well as educators. I hope my lessons are engaging and educational. Engaging does not mean entertaining all the time. I think those two are often confused.
So where does that leave me? It leaves me back from break with one set of students taking their AP Lit exam May 4th; another set taking the second part of their MCAS on the 17th and 18th, and then we roll into final exams. It leaves me hoping that I have enough time for students to be prepared for district based finals. It leaves me feeling distracted like them.