If I wake up sans alarm, and it’s after 5 a.m., chances are it’s Sunday morning. And if it’s Sunday morning, that means a slice of heaven for the week. We’re talking being the only one awake in the house, finishing a second cup of coffee, bagels, brunch, family dinner, meal prepping, watching the news and scouring Pinterest at.the.same.time, rest, and possibly finishing tasks that can’t wait until next Saturday. Choose 1-2 items off the list…or ALL…your choice because it’s SUNDAY!
I love that moment of waking up and knowing that it’s Sunday. It’s like I could roll over and sleep more or wake up and savor each Sunday moment. I usually take an inventory of my day in those few moments and relish that it’s Sunday…because any other day of the week has me running around meeting deadlines and borrowing stress.
I like the anticipation of Sunday. When the Sunday-day is done, I’m already excited for the next one to come around.
I want students to experience this…with me…in my classroom…in my school community. I think some of the biggest challenges is the schedule itself. How many times is your after lunch period totally on carb-overload or your 1st period students embodying characters from The Walking Dead? I understand that there are various limitations to each class period, but, beyond that…I’m talking about that Sunday morning possibility of what is to come…that is what I want my students to feel…to anticipate.
So much of what we do in the classroom begins with how we set up emotional space, something not seen. Making a point to learn students names, greeting each student, looking students in the eye, smiling at them, a quick fist-bump…anything…just so you can communicate to your student I SEE YOU. It’s amazing how responsive students are to a positive space. After a few weeks, defenses fall and you may even hear You’re not like other teachers or I really like this class or the one that will melt your heart: This is my favorite class of the day.
Each day, each class period offers opportunity to create that space for students to be a part of our school/classroom community. When they realize that it IS a safe spot, they begin to look forward to that period and hopefully, feel ready to connect to the content.
I’m not going to lie…it’s exhausting…when you have 6-7 periods a day and 35-42 students in each class, it can wear the sunniest teacher dispositions down. However, when you realize that it’s YOUR class that most students in your last period of the day are looking forward to, we can self-talk and do our best version of “suck-it-up-buttercup.” Because for those minutes in that period, to your students, this is their Sunday morning. Run with it. Give them the best you can so they leave anticipating the next time your class meets.
And for you, dear colleague, it may be Monday, Thursday or Friday, but for you..Sunday is on its way.