Does Rest Break Focus?

Many of you are already on summer holidays, and in my envious haze, I find myself scrambling for a topic to write about. It could be that my reflective powers are decreasing due to the warm summer breeze, and my time spent in the hammock reading the hard-to-put-down novel, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo“. I seem to have more interest in listening to the first cicadas of the summer, then working on my lesson plans. My ability to focus has greatly diminished as I go into my last official week of teaching, and for this I have no shame. It is time for a break.

Interestingly, it is in this need for rest that I am able to find a topic to write about.

In recent weeks, I’ve noticed that my participants’ ability to focus has also been on a steep decline. They have been diligently working away at creating presentations and micro-teaching lessons. They have been feeling exhausted, and stressed, and are in dire need of a break.

This brings me to a conundrum.

On a few occasions, some participants have asked me if they could rest instead of participating in class activities. I said yes, but was not completely confident in my responses.

The teacher within me who values a supportive and caring atmosphere where everyone can feel like their needs are a high priority, had no problem saying yes. However, the teacher within me who wants to make sure the other participants stay on task, questioned how this allowance would effect their work. If you are also feeling exhausted, wouldn’t it seem unfair that one participant takes a rest while you work? Wouldn’t this inhibit your performance of the task at hand?

In the moment I trusted that the others understood the situation. I trusted that they could empathize with the participants and with me. I think I was able to make this allowance because I teach adults. Would I make the same choice if I taught middle or high school students? Could I trust their ability to understand one student’s need for rest, while understanding my need for them to stay on task? I think this is where me doubt really begins.

What do you think? How can we let our students rest if they really need it, without disrupting the work flow of others in the class?

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3 thoughts on “Does Rest Break Focus?

  1. Je ne sais pas vraiment ce qu’il faut faire, mais je trouve ça intéressant qu’ils t’ont demandé s’ils pouvaient se reposer plutôt que simplement “zoner out”. Ce que je voulais te dire quand même, c’est que j’ai lu les trois romans de Stieg Larrson et les ai trouvés fascinant. J’ai aussi les trois films. Bonne lecture. Parait-il qu’on va vous voir cet été?

    N’oncle Gilles

    1. Oui vous allez nous voir cette été :) On arrive à Halifax le 29 juin et in retourne le 26 août.

      Je ne realisais pas qu’il y a trois films! Je savais qu’il y a trois livres, et j’aimerais beaucoup les lires. Je n’ai pas meme regardé le premier film. Hmmm…peut-être que je pourrais l’emprunter?

      Oui, c’est pas mal intèressant. Je me demande si ils laisseraient leurs étudiants faire la même chose? Je me demande souvent cetter question. La plupart du temps je m’appercois que les enseignants s’attend que leurs élèves se comportent de des façon qu’ils ne veulent pas se comporter. Je rancontre beaucoup d’hypocrisie. Parcontre, j’ai pas mal de confience que les enseignants qui mon demandé de se réposer donnerait probablement la même occasions à leurs étudiant.

      Merci pour lire et pour commentaire!

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