Neurodivergence and Teaching

First, let me apologize for not updating my website in months. One of the things I struggle with as a neurodivergent person is follow through. I often will get extremely passionate and excited about a project for a few months and then abandon it at the drop of a hat.

I’ve wanted to write about how I survived moving to hybrid teaching and some end of the year advice, but I simply couldn’t find the time, energy, or inspiration.

That being said, we are well into summer and so I’m going to be uploading a lot in the next month or two. Don’t be surprised, however, if you don’t hear from me once September arrives.

Until then, here are two tools that help me focus on my to do lists:

tomatotimers

The Pomodoro Technique is a simple time management system developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The idea is to break up your time into manageable 25 minute work windows where you deliberately work on ONE task until the timer goes off. Then, you can take a small break, traditionally 5 minutes. After four 25 minute work sessions, you take a longer break.

This technique is so helpful because it forces me to identify a task and mindfully work on that task. Typically, I will go to do the dishes and find twenty other things that need to get done along the way. I get distracted by the piles of clothes, or the toys on the floor. When this happens, I don’t get to the dishes. But with setting an intention and a timer, I am able to focus on the chosen task.

Another tech tool I use when working is ambient music. I put this on in my classroom when students are working independently or taking a test. When I was in grad school, I listened to ambient music when reading and writing. With no lyrics or real tune, the ambient sounds seem to attract the part of my brain that wants to wander. When the part of my brain that is responsible for my inattention fixated on the sounds, the rest of my brain is free to focus on cerebral tasks like grading, lesson planning, and composing emails.

Let me know if you have any tech tips for neurodivergent students or teachers!

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