I enjoy making my classroom look good - putting up bulletin boards, laminating, finding my posters, sticking stuff on the ceiling - but it seems like I'm often saddled in front of a computer doing some administrative work instead of doing the teacher stuff I consider fun!
It has to get done, though. So how do I keep myself motivated while I'm typing curriculum maps and classroom inventories? Read on:
A lot of these tasks are pretty menial and don't require 100% concentration. When that's the case, I can turn on my podcasts and enjoy some chatter about my favorite topics.
Some of my favorites are Lattes with Leia, Rebel Force Radio, The Disney Dish Podcast with Jim Hill, The Disney Diet, Coffee with Kenobi, The Weekly Planet, and Mousetalgia.
During the school year I have a CD case full of my favorite instrumental music. But during the summer I have no desire to listen to those. Instead, I utilize YouTube and find some 2-hour instrumental loops of music that I don't own.
Maybe I'll sample a movie soundtrack I'm considering buying. Or I might find some calming video game music. This week I was going for some anime power music like this:
It doesn't hurt that it features music from three of my favorite animes, Naruto, My Hero Academia, and Attack on Titan. Best of all, most of these YouTube videos include the track listings in the description so I can see what I'll be listening to. I like my familiar music, but it's nice to hear stuff from other lesser known animes, as well!
This is a great option when I do need to fully concentrate on my work. The pulsing energy from the music (like the one above) really keeps me going.
Summer is the time of major conventions like D23 and San Diego Comic Con, but there wasn't any way I was going to actually attend those events with my busy schedule.
Luckily, many of the panels from these events are recorded and released on YouTube. I got to watch the Ducktales panel from SDCC and the Hercules 20th Anniversary panel from D23 along with a few others.
I can put these up on my SMART Board and watch the panels with one eye while working on my computer screen with the other.
Last year I was able to put Olympic events on the SMART Board. This summer it's been Detroit Tigers games, when I've been able to stomach them. (It's been that kind of season.)
Usually I don't have to watch the games to maintain interest. Heck, I don't even need to listen fully to the commentators! A lot of times I can simply listen for inflection. If I hear excitement in the announcer's voice or a sudden rise in crowd noise, I know to start paying attention. Best of all, if I do happen to miss something, I can usually rewind and see it again!
Y'know, sometimes I just sit and work in silence. It isn't often, but sometimes I need no distractions at all.
All of these things have helped me get my tasks done during the summer months! Anything to get as much work accomplished as possible.