Students have relied on drugs to help them focus and get schoolwork done quickly for years, but now there's a new drug to help boost focus and performance, and it's not only used by students.
The drug is supposed to help people with sleep disorders, but it's also used by fighter pilots who need to stay sharp. Teachers are using it to help speed up the grueling process of grading papers.
Modafinil helps those who use it improve their memory and attention. It also helps boost learning and other cognitive abilities. It's been around for a while but has gained more popularity in the last few years.
Writing 3,000-word papers as a student was dull enough as it is, but imagine having to grade 50 papers about the same subject. It's no wonder teachers are all about this drug. I wrote some dull papers back in college, so I definitely understand how some teachers need to rely on drugs to give them superhuman focus while slogging through poorly written essays.
For example, Rachel, a lecturer who teaches at a university in south-east England, says that modafinil helps her grade long essays three times faster than what was expected a decade ago.
She told Vice about her experience with the drug,
But with modafinil, it's brilliant. My concentration is phenomenal and my brain never gets tired. My eyes can just skim over the page and I'll take it all in. I'm better at writing comments — on modafinil, I go into serious detail. I get it done twice as quick and I feel cheerful about doing it.
Like other drugs that students use to help with focus, such as Adderall, it's legal to have. But it's illegal to import.
Some of the downsides for teachers who use modafinil are the results of sitting in one place for too long or losing track of time, like skipping meals or experiencing back pain. They're so focused, they don't move for hours on end.
Personally, I've never taken anything to enhance focus at work or school, but it seems to really help these teachers who have way more work to do than their students. I don't blame you, teachers. You do you.