I am easily distracted. I probably would have been diagnosed with ADD when I was a child, if it had been as widely known back then as it is now. It hasn’t exactly been a problem for me now that I’m an adult, but it can be annoying at times. As a teacher, I find there are some classroom noises that distract me to the point of major irritation.
I have quite a few kids this year that hum. Constantly. I understand their desire to hum and I don’t think they do it on purpose. One of these days, I’m going to have to count the number of times I hear myself say something like, “When we reduce fractions– please stop humming— we need to find the greatest common factor. After that , divide– stop humming— the numerator and denominator by the– whoever is humming, please stop— er, what was I saying…?”
Then there are the desk drummers. I have a few of those this year. Sometimes pencils become drumsticks. If not pencils, hands work well, too. The drumming is less annoying than the hummers because I can immediately pinpoint where the noise is coming from and address the offending percussionist directly.
Foot tappers fall into the same category as the desk drummers. They can be a little more difficult to identify, but not as difficult as the hummers. I don’t have many foot tappers this year, fortunately.
There are also the water bottle crumplers– a big NO in my class! That just makes me mean. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing– the second I hear the crumpling of a water bottle, I lose all concentration. I reserve my most severe teacher glare for those who crumple their water bottles. As a result, it doesn’t happen often in my classroom.
I wish I could be one of those teachers who doesn’t notice the hummers, drummers, tappers, and crumplers. But I do.
Distraction– it isn’t just for students anymore.