So I have very recently realized that in my professional life (and probably my personal one too…but I won’t go there today), I am both ADD (not a real diagnosis) and OCD. All of this combines to make my classroom pretty and organized, and my desk covered in post-it notes, note pads and many things highlighted.
No matter how often I try to sit down and accomplish a task at my desk, inevitably I become distracted by something else in my classroom that just can’t wait. (Sometimes it’s just getting another cup of coffee.) I could be in the middle of grading papers, but at that moment I MUST put away that novel that a student just returned to me. Is that my OCD, or is that ADD? Who knows, but at the same time it seems to work.
How is this possible? Well, take for instance, the process of lesson planning. First, I must say that I absolutely love using planbookedu.com for all of my lesson planning needs. It’s a fantastic website and you can use either the free version or the paid version. The paid version is only $25 for a year (a whole year, not just a school year), and I can link the standards to my lessons along with any documents I have created and will be using. But the best part about it? If I create a lesson for a day and then something comes up, I change it, I can move/bump it to another date, add in holidays, snow days, etc…it is so easy to do! In the past, with my “old fashioned” planbook, there was a ton of erasing that would have to take place and that would get very messy very quickly.
But I digress. Anyway, the process of planning for me begins with my basic idea for my unit. Then I go through and look at everything I have for a novel unit and the supplementary material. As I’m doing that, of course I then have to start Google-ing other ideas and possible activities that correspond. Many times I end up mashing together previous lessons and activities. I’ve also had it happen that ideas will randomly come to me, so I then start to rush around the house finding papers and getting to a computer as soon as I can so the idea doesn’t leave me. :) I also love my Pinterest ideas! Many of the ideas that I have pinned onto my “Classroom Ideas” board have been extremely successful. (Huge shout-out to all of you other teachers out there for sharing!!!) It is in this way, and through other bloggers, that I can keep my students interested and engaged in what we are doing.
I think the ADD portion of the show allows me to leave and come back to what I’ve been working on with fresh eyes and take a new perspective on some of the lessons. But the OCD part makes me focus and be sure that I have everything that I need. (I also really like things color-coded if possible, but that doesn’t really matter to the kids.) Both of these things combined, probably along with all of the coffee I consume throughout the day, also means that as I’m in the process of creating things, I will likewise go and track down some of my colleagues to bounce the ideas off of them and get their feedback. It’s always good to talk out new ideas with someone who understands your craziness and randomness. (Thank you teacher friends!)
So I guess I can actually call this strange weirdness, just multi-tasking. I am apparently an excellent multi-tasker when creating lessons and working in my classroom. (P.S. – I now have a small break between Parent-Teacher Conferences so it’s time to go get re-caffeinated for the afternoon/evening session. Starbucks, is that you calling?)