One day when I was a good bit younger, I went out shopping with my mom and my oldest sister.
It should be noted that I love my sister very much, but, like me, she has a tough time concentrating on the task at hand. We went into Old Navy for a pair of pants and about an hour and a half later, we somehow managed to find our way into the kids section…and this was pre-kids for both of us.
“Allison…focus.” I said, exasperated.
I seriously couldn’t handle rifling through any more Old Navy racks of clothing.
I remember the frustration; I remember wondering how something so little could become an all-day affair. And yet somedays, I find myself meandering into the proverbial ‘kids section’ of my mind. There are certain things I need to get done or would like to get done and somehow, I get completely sidetracked. So many things vie for our attention these days; and much of this distraction comes in the form of a blue banner atop a screen of choice.
Social media has become a daily box on our to-do list, and somehow, it takes the focus away from social and pushes us into the untamed frontier of ‘media.’ I find myself looking through photo albums of people I haven’t spoken to in years or taking silly quizzes or reading countless articles, just to fill the time. By the end of the day, I haven’t gotten everything done and I certainly haven’t focused enough on the people that matter.
Without fail, I have taken the bait present on social media. The irony of this particular post is that I’ve changed direction so many time from the original intent because I wrote hundreds of words villainizing social media, but clearly my focus is completely off.
Sometimes, this really bothers me: as it should. I know I am not maximizing my days when I keep frolicking in the lands of Buzzfeed, trending Twitter topics, and Facebook groups. I really need to focus, purge, and reset myself to get things done. Otherwise, I will find out who my ‘boyfriend would be in a past life,’ and not finish the things that have been dreams of mine since I was a little girl; namely, writing manuscripts and publishing novels.
I am reminded each day about the struggle to stay focused. Especially when working for yourself, it is so easy to become side-tracked in getting work done. However, there is no battle ground more harsh to stay focused than that of the public school classroom. Every day, teachers are pulled in hundreds of directions. I’ve created a “weekly teacher planner” to keep teachers focused on the task at hand; all the while gathering all necessary documentation to upload into your TKES platform.
I’ve included general outlines for lesson plans, ideas for the following week, lesson plans to be resumed, an area for differentiation evidence, a spot for parent contact and list for who to contact next, after school activities, weekly data analysis (see attached), meeting schedule, date line, and copies to run. This is a great piece to upload into your TKES platform as it shows evidence of much of your TKES domain evaluations. I was always proud to be “proficient,” but this may edge you into exemplary…and in some cases, get you some extra $.
Click below for word doc and pdf versions (for digital and hard copies)