Have you ever had one of those days where your thoughts just won’t stay put? Where, for no discernible reason, your train of thought jumps tracks willy-nilly? It’s like your brain has become an iPod with the “shuffle” feature turned on. I feel like that’s my brain 24/7 lately.
During the school day, this “shuffle head” can actually be helpful. Keeping track of up to 19 students at a time is a little easier, because rarely can I focus on one thing for too long. Even when I’m talking to the whole class, I must constantly be aware of my students’ reactions, the direction of their attention, their work output or lack thereof, and a million other little things. For example, in the last month the amount of daylight has increased drastically, to almost 12 hours between sunrise and sunset. Combined with the increasing temperatures, that means my kids are playing outside until the curfew siren sounds at 9, and likely beyond that. So the kids come to school tired and cranky, more likely to get in trouble.
Even when I’m not with them, my kids occupy more than a few of the tracks that my train of thought can jump to. Did I remember to enter the final grades for the quarter? What was going on with Brandon today? Why did those two students get in to a fight? Oh great, I was supposed to call Allan’s mom. Hey, a text from a fellow teacher. What… well, we found out why Brandon’s in such a foul mood. Looks like I get to write another report for the Office of Child Protective Services. What’s that make, three this semester?
There are other, not quite school related tracks, too. I just purchased my plane ticket home for the summer, so my brain is determined that I need to be worrying about what must go home and what can stay here in storage. Speaking of which, I still don’t know where I’m living next year. I put in for one of the single-teacher units, but nothing will be confirmed until the end of this month at the earliest. No matter what, there are some things that can just be shipped home to stay in the Lower 48. Speaking of summer, I’ve got to start looking at what I’m doing for the two months. How many movies do I want to see? When am I traveling? How much time can I spend with friends and family? How much can I cram in before I come back to Nunap in August?
The hardest part about shuffle head is dealing with it. The best strategy I’ve found is to just write down, preferably in one place, all of the “to do” things that I come up with. And just writing about it, like this, helps. Maybe now I can get some sleep!