I think we have the ability to focus, we just choose to ignore this skill on occasion (okay, most the time… I am trying to be polite).
We are often consumed by a gnawing feeling that we should be doing something else.
That something else is always way more important to us than the task at hand.
The examples are endless, but here are a few (more than that and I run the risk that you, the reader, would lose what little focus you have).
Have to sit through a teacher’s meeting… in our mind we should be grading papers.
Have to listen to administrator’s babble… we should be getting lesson plans ready for next week (or more honestly, tomorrow).
Have to sit through a tiresome technology workshop… need to be planning for daughter’s wedding (so, she is only 7… that day is going to sneak up on us).
Have to sit through a curriculum meeting… hoping to get called to the office and get yelled at for something we didn’t do, as it would be less painful.
Have to call an angry parent back… would rather be gouging eye out with freshly sharpened pencil (or really dull pencil, your choice… if you don’t have a pencil, please feel free to use a spoon).
Have to give a mandated test… we want to just sit quietly and hope for the sweet relief of death.
I don’t know if the ability to have our minds someplace else is a skill we are born with, or we pick it up over lunch in the lounge.
Maybe we were all taught this skill in a college course, but I just don’t remember as my mind was already someplace else (it was like I was a teaching prodigy).
And while we are very good at thinking our time would be better spent elsewhere, we also have the ability to completely tune out a speaker and talk among ourselves.
Examples include… every meeting, workshop, training, or place where teachers gather in packs.
Please don’t be offended.
Although, I don’t have to worry about being offensive if you are with other teachers right now… because your mind is someplace else, or you are talking when you should be reading.
The PrincipalsPage.com lawyer advised me to write a short explanation of how I didn’t mean to offend teachers at the conclusion of this blog. But, needless to say I was thinking about school when he was talking, so I didn’t exactly catch what he said.