Embracing Sunday Night

I admit to a mild feeling of trepidation on Sunday nights, especially when I have, as Jody said, vacation head. Will my lesson plans work? Will I be in mental conflict with one or more kids? Will I reach them? How bad will the push back be? Will my instruction reach them?
It seems worse on a Sunday night. One would think that in year 33 of this, it would be cake. Such is the nature of the profession that it is not. If I thought it was just me on this, I wouldn’t say it here, but I think many of us feel this way – kind of scared.
What is it going to take to get me to relax and just enjoy the SLOW and hanging out with the kids in the target language? When do I get to be free of the idea that I am on stage? The idea of relaxing with the kids wasn’t possible before, but now it is, so why not do it?



5 thoughts on “Embracing Sunday Night”

  1. Now it’s my turn to encourage you, Ben. 🙂
    During the week we create that community that is so necessary to what we do, but on the weekend everyone goes different ways. Some students see each other, but we (and other students) are out of the loop. Will the community still be there? Have things happened that will destroy or damage the community?
    If our work is good – and by that I mean that we have shown our students that care about them – the community will hold. For some of our students it will be the safe haven they need after a rocky weekend. Ben, I’ve seen your work and I know it’s good. Your mild trepidation is merely another version of my Angst, let’s banish those demons together.
    All of that said, one thing that has helped me is following the German Soccer League. This is a shared experience in which we focus for a moment on something entirely outside the classroom, but students become fans of their team and bring the joy and sorrow of winning and losing into the classroom. The responses to the weekend’s games are genuine, and we can talk about them before plunging back into discussions of what students did on the weekend, etc. This activity offers me the security of a familiar framework on Monday morning and students the comfort of a “ritual”.

  2. At the risk of sounding like a slack teacher, I like to face my Monday classes with no more of a plan than talking about the weekend and maybe introducing a new song. My upper level kids (4/5) do have to bring in a current event for discussion every Monday. I usually only call on a couple of students per Monday to share a current event. It seems to me that my students do better when I come in with the idea of easing in Monday. I also do Sustained Silent Reading daily which helps me gather my wits Monday morning. With a nice cup of coffee, hopefully by the end of SSR I am awake and ready to go.

  3. Sunday nights are hard for me too. But last night I had a dream about a classroom, and even though I totally screwed up, the class was not chaotic. In my dream, I arrived very late to school. More than half of my class had gone to the pool. But I held class with the kids who were there, and we made up a story, and there was a sense of working together to salvage what was left of our little group for the day. For me, this is a new direction in anxiety dreams. Maybe you can take your Sunday night “anxiety daydreams” and work on visualizing your Monday classes as an engaged, respectful community.

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