One of the first things to be affected in any chronic illness is memory. Pain, medications, lack of sleep all can negatively affect one's memory. Given everything we're supposed to remember as teachers, though, that memory problem can turn into a big issue when evaluation time rolls around.
The good news is that there are many ways to support memory loss. Since educators are already used to documenting, it just means documenting a bit more and more effectively. This is also where your phone or tablet can really come in handy, even better than a million sticky notes on your desk. Memory supports I use and suggest:
* Evernote. True, there are tons of good note-taking apps out there now, and you might find that a different app works better for your style, but few come close to the power of Evernote. You can try it for free before deciding whether or not to pay for a higher level, and many find that the free version does more than enough. You can take all kinds of notes in Evernote, from taking pictures of handwriting or meeting handouts to making an audio note of a conversation. It even has scanning capabilities now, so you can scan important documents and have them with you all the time.
The best part of Evernote is the ability to easily organize and find any notes. You can put notes into notebooks, add tags quickly so you can search on that topic and find the note fast, and you can even stack notebooks. Evernote even has handwriting recognition software, so you can search picture notes of handwriting and find what you need. Add in Evernote's ability to take notes on PDFs and even use a stylus to write your note on your phone's screen and then just tap what notebook to put that note into, and it's an adaptable, easy to use way to document what you need help remembering.
I am also a fan of Evernote's ability to work with Google apps. WebClipper, a Chrome extension, means that you can clip anything you find online to any notebook in your Evernote account. You can even tie your Evernote and Google Drive accounts. I have been using Evernote for years now, and I still haven't figured out quite everything it can do.
* Livescribe Pens. I am still new to this one, but what I like is the ability to easily take audio and written notes at the same time. With pain comes brain fog, and it really helps to be able to take audio notes. These are great for parent conferences, but just make sure that you get permission to record from all parties, per your state's regulations....