TGIF, That Means It’s Almost Monday!

f170f8aa7074e539ddcd0424d72c03dcPlease don’t tell me this picture represents your views!

As a teacher, and specifically as a band director, I am not a big fan of Mondays. As a worker, I really love Monday. Why? Great question.

Why I don’t like Mondays
Kids generally don’t practice over the weekend. This means that part of Monday is spentrecovering and getting the band to sound the way I want it to sound again. Anecdotally, I find that the students are less focused on Mondays than they are on Wednesdays or Thursdays. Those days seem to be the best teaching days of the week. Often, I will plan my schedule with that assumption. More on that later. This week we didn’t have school on Monday. I walked into my office aftyer first period and announced to whoever would listen, “It sure is a Monday today!” Interestingly enough, I did the same thing after third period on Thursday. Go figure.

Why I love Mondays
Mondays are so full of promise. There are so many things that can be accomplished this week. Sure, I know that there will be a longer period of time warming up on Mondays and getting the chops back into playing condition, but I also know that we can already begin working toward the goals that I have in mind for the week.

So how do I use that to my advantage?
I think the best way to structure a week (at least with a middle school non-varsity band) is to spend Monday working primarily on long tones and technical exercises. These could be specific areas of concert music as well as scale or arpeggio studies.

I also find that Fridays are somewhat unfocused, and I use them for running through larger sections of the music, and often will record full performances on Fridays. The more the kids are actively engaged, the better they behave!

As I’ve written before, one of my mentors was fond of saying, “If you look forward to Monday more than you do to Friday, you run the risk of success.”

What about you? Share some of your “it sure is Monday today” stories in the comments.

About Joel Wagner 522 Articles
Joel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.

8 Comments on TGIF, That Means It’s Almost Monday!

  1. I’ve discovered I need to be more energetic on Mondays to get my students up to speed – the way the people who serve you coffee at 5:00am can brighten your day by being cheerful instead of bleary and barely awake. The students who practice their instruments over the weekend are a minority and often, a poor rehearsal can always be blamed on it “being Monday” (though I generally refuse to allow it to be an excuse). Even if I’m dragging a bit myself, I will at least feign excitement and enthusiasm: it’s a cycle of positive feedback, they get more energized, which in turn picks me up and it goes from there.

  2. I love Mondays! The weekend is about all I can stand of working in the house and yard. I am ready to return to the classroom and help the students learn. The problem is, if they don’t want to learn, there is nothing you can do to make them. I have one of those students. However, I always view Monday as a new beginning and I am ready to try again. You never know what will happen.

  3. I hadn’t considered scheduling lessons with the expectation of how the students will likely respond based on the day of the week. That’s an interesting consideration I’ll have to think about.

    Truth be told, since I haven’t slipped into the cynicism about education that some more experienced teachers – elsewhere, of course – seem to have adopted, I basically go into every day of teaching like it’s another day of teaching: that is, not as something monotonous but as though it’s another day to do my job and help my students learn. Am I aware that Mondays bring difficulties with motivation from having just had a weekend off (and the longer the weekend, the more difficult the pull) and that Fridays are spent in anxious anticipation of the upcoming weekend? Sure, and I suppose I do find myself being especially energetic and excited on those days. Other than that, though, I have to go on with my teaching, and I feel pretty privileged to be in the position I’m in right now. Maybe that’s the difference.

  4. As I sit here at 9:15pm on Sunday night, I’m excited for tomorrow to begin so I can get back to work! I have new music to pass out, and I know the kids will love it.

    Lasagna is yummy, but it is high in calories, fat, carbohydrates, and lactose. As a result, it shouldn’t be consumed on a daily basis.

  5. Oh yeah, G. Cynicism will eventually slip in. Don’t let it consume you, but also remember that cynicism can in some instances be a healthy thing when limited. The problem comes from those who let it overtake them to where they are cynical in most instances. Fight that tendency with everything you have!

  6. My standard response to students complaining about Mondays is “1/7th of your life is Monday.” I try to say it compassionately! :-)

    Also, with all the Monday holidays, especially in the Spring, I remind students that the number of Mondays that they have to get up and come to school is in the 20s.

  7. Wow, those are some good points. I have had a great week so far, but today really felt like a Monday all day. I didn’t approach anything any less positively than I normally do. We didn’t have any kind of testing or anything abnormal going on today.

    But as hard as I tried, they didn’t play nearly as well as they did on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. I was so hopeful that we were going to have a great week all week. Part of the problem I think is that we focused on the same piece of music all week long. I’ll be going back to some of the other stuff tomorrow, so hopefully things will be better!

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