The Monday Morning Blues
I always seem to have the “Monday Morning Blues!” My glorious weekend passes by far too quickly; come and gone before I fully enjoy the anticipated freedom. Monday morning rolls around again. So as I write and lament, I wonder what makes this morning so difficult for me to take?
As a middle school teacher, the rushing begins as I enter into the “School Zone,” required by law to be 25 mph. I always have an impatient parent careening around me in order to drop off a few minutes earlier. They pass by with “You stupid slow driver,” written all over their face as they glare into my window. I must admit, I wish the motorcycle cops were lurking at that moment.
Then there is the parking lot madness. It never fails! Navigating your way through is like engaging in a game of bumper cars at an amusement park but you can’t bump; unless you want a lawsuit. After parking, I weave through the mayhem pulling two large cases on wheels filled with laptops I haul in for students to use and take home in order to prevent theft.
Once I swing the front doors open, people are moving so fast that for a moment I think I’m at the airport about to board one of those moving walkways. There isn’t much time for socializing in the hallways because most are rushing to some urgent task. In fact, the only people ready to visit are students who shouldn’t be there in the first place. They mill around hoping that “just by chance” a social adult might be willing to stop for a chat.
“Mrs. Luna, I got my progress report. I’ve never gotten a 3.0 GPA before.”
Now who can resist that hook? So I decide to stop and give the ole, “Great job I knew you could do it…” when I hear a duty aide screaming,
“Clear the halls!”
School hallways are not only poor for student, teacher interacting, but also for colleague, colleague connecting. Stopping to talk with another teacher is akin to engaging in meaningful conversation while the airport loud speaker blares, “Last call for Flight 899!”
So we catch snippets of…
“Have a good weekend?”
“I’m so tired.”
“It’s only Monday morning, groan.”
“Are you having trouble with …?”
Now, I have no excuse for not taking advantage of the socializing possible because I could eat lunch in the teachers’ lounge. There, teachers shoot the breeze and enjoy pleasant banter. Yes, the camaraderie appeals and I have sat in teachers’ lounges most of my ten plus years in education. But, somewhere along the way last year, I decided to work through most lunches in order to enjoy the few minutes of brain solitude and depart a little bit earlier after school.
The next conflicting part of Monday mornings are the students. If you are lucky, the wild ones stayed up late the night before and are pleasantly lethargic (trust me when I say WILD!). Few greet me with a vocal hurrah! Most look at me as if to say, “You’ve got to be kidding.” Writing more about the rest of the school day is best saved for another post. Besides, some of you may read this on Monday evening and if you are a teacher, the day is still painfully fresh in your mind.
The frosting on top of today’s Monday morning cake was a visit by the Principal and Assistant Superintendent. By some quirk of fate, I dressed more professionally than usual, had every student on task, and actually presented a somewhat coherent lesson (aside from a few nervous stutters and slurs).
Yet, in spite of Monday mornings and the current climate that crouches behind our home plates yelling “Strike three,” we teachers still manage to occasionally hit one out of the ballpark. How do I know? A former student stops by after school to brag,
“I made the Superintendent’s Honor Roll this year.”
I only wish these kinds of encouraging calls would happen before school on Monday mornings. Then, I am quite sure the blues would clear up and I would smile a little bit earlier in the day.