Mondays. Need I really say more? They really are the red-headed step-child of the weekdays.
Each start of the week is semi-predictable in its awfulness, but with each Monday comes a different set of trials and tribulations. Try as I may to pretend they’re not awful, like they may hold untapped potential, I accept that it would make me somewhat delusional in believing so, the blindest of faiths. Even the thought of saying “good morning” seems like a lie. Would just “morning” be acceptable? Instead, I suggest we all just look at each other and grumble, thus acknowledging how pessimistic we all feel on this given day.
But then, completely unprecedented and set off by some unforeseen twist of fate, your first period class is really excited as they walk through the door – not out. The energy is contagious, and the lesson you planned to get them pumped about the otherwise-lame-to-8th-graders content, goes off without a hitch! They are engaged, interactive, and more awake than you’ve seen them in months. Rather than presume some sort of witchcraft, you roll with the momentum.
During your prep period, you catch up on your grading, all of it! You look at your gradebook and realize that you don’t have any outstanding assignments. OK, fine. You have an assignment, but that one you plan on saving until Spring Break anyway so you’re still ahead of the game. Congratulations!
Maybe this Monday thing isn’t so bad after all, but it’s too early to tell.
As the day progresses, worlds open for you, and opportunities abound, peeling themselves back for you like a juicy beginning-of-the-week orange. You can hardly contain yourself! Your spouse brings you a treat, unexpected, unsolicited, and brightening what would normally be a dingy Monday. Beginning to feel warm inside, almost tingly, it’s like your insides have fallen asleep, but instead, you recognize the faint tinge of excitement. Uncharacteristic, you don’t usually feel this on Monday, and you feel your skepticism melt away with the Monday blues.
Boldly, you begin to believe this week may not turn out to be half bad, especially if today is any indicator. The student sitting outside your door at lunch is playing that “Sicko Mode” song, and it doesn’t even bother you. You even nod at him like you know what’s up. “This Monday is on Sicko Mode,” you think to yourself, than immediately oppress that outburst. But you do know what’s up. It’s Monday, and you’re having the best one ever.
After a calm lunch where nobody either asks you for anything or expects you to do something for them, you approach the last two periods of the day feeling inspired. Sixth period allows you to coast. You’re on Teacher cruise control and you can see the very bright light at the end of today’s tunnel, but there is only one thing in your way: period seven.
If ever there were a class that made you contemplate leaving teaching for the Peace Corps, it’s this one. All the students who together, and one incredibly horrible dynamic, have found each other, you now approach this class which trepidation every day. Even as a veteran teacher, they are the fly in your Chardonnay. The rain on your parade. But you love them and want the best for them anyway because they are your students, so you put on your growth-mindset pants, and Brene Brown the hell out of them on the daily.
As luck would have it, this may be one of their best days ever. When the final bell rings, you practically click your heels in the air a-la Fred Flintstone. You did it! You survived Monday – no, better than that – you kicked this Monday’s ass.
As you pack a few things and grab your planner to review tomorrow’s lesson (which by the way you’ve already prepared, made copies for, and reviewed the homework assignment you plan to give, because, you know, it’s that kind of Monday), you see it circled on your calendar in big bold letters: STAFF MEETING. An audible gasp leaves your slightly parted lips.
You almost had it. Touché, Monday. Touché.