Mondays can be hard. Especially when you don't get much sleep over the weekend. But Mondays can also be great. Especially when you go into them with a smile on your face and a positive attitude. That's exactly what I did today. I jumped (well, OK, not really jumped) out of bed when my alarm went off at 5:45 a.m. I smelled the coffee brewing as I raced (well, OK, not really raced) downstairs for my morning cup of hot, fresh coffee. I clicked on the news and picked up the New York Times crossword puzzle that my husband left for me on the table. I sipped the hot brew as I correctly (well, OK, not all of them) answered the clues and filled in the puzzle.
Soon, I was showered and dressed, had walked the dog and grabbed my lunch and bag and left for school.
I love watching the kids arrive on Mondays. They're a little sleepy, a little slower than usual, but always smiling and happy to be at school. I hear stories of their weekend fun, watch them greet one another, and love the fact that they know exactly what to do. I so enjoy the hugs I always get from several of them as they enter the classroom.
I told them that today was going to be the best Monday of the year. That we only have 11 more Mondays left in this school year. I made a pouty, sad face to show them that I'm already feeling a bit sad that they will be moving on to fourth grade soon and there's nothing I can do about it. I was suddenly hit with the fact that I will miss every single one of them.
There were a few times today I caught myself heading over to the dark side (negativity), but within seconds I was back in a more positive frame of mind. For six and a half months I've completely altered my attitude.
So, just in case you didn't have the most positive of days, here are some stories from my classroom that I hope might put a smile on your face.
Whenever I make a mistake, I tell the students it's "teacher error" and we all get a laugh out of it. I remind them that everybody makes mistakes. I tell them that's why I need them - to help keep me on track. They love when they spot a mistake, sometimes an incorrect date on the board or telling them to get ready for art, when we are actually going to music. By now in the year, when I do make a mistake, they all smile and just say, "teacher error". I think it helps minimize their feelings when they too, make a mistake.
At lunch today I had one little girl and boy ask me if they could eat with me at my back table.
"Sure," I happily replied. "To what do I owe this pleasure?"
Both looked at me like I was speaking another language so I helped bail them out.
"I'm glad to have you join me for lunch. Why?" I interpreted.
"Well, I don't want you to be lonely," explained the one girl. Awwwwwwww......so sweet.
She doesn't realize that being surrounded by twenty-two little kids in a classroom prevents any feelings of loneliness.
"I just want a change in scenery," added the little boy as he plopped his lunch on the table next to mine.
Kids. Gotta love them. An eight year old that yearns for a change of scenery. I wonder what he'll be doing when he's twenty? Probably traveling the world!
After our lovely lunch, the darling little girl threw away my trash for me and wiped the table with an antibacterial wipe.
"You can come back tomorrow," I urged her. "You're fun to eat with and you clean up your stuff and mine too!"
Not to be outdone, the little boy pushed in the chairs and picked up a few imaginary things on the floor.
Our day flew by, as it always does as we went through the day's activities and assignments.
A few minutes before the bell rang, the students were all standing by their desks, packed up and anxiously waiting for the bell to ring.
"If you can hear me, come on over and line up," I said in a barely audible voice.
Whosh! Six boys and two girls instantaneously were standing beside me, while the rest remained behind at their desks.
"Wow!" I began. "Isn't it interesting?" I said with a quizzical look on my face.
"Isn't what interesting?" said one of them as she looked up at my face.
"Well..... it's interesting that I barely said that loud enough for you to hear and look how many of you heard me. But when I say directions out loud, with my microphone on, hardly anyone gets them the first time. I wonder why that is?" I smiled, just to show I was kidding around with them. They love that.
Just then the bell rang and one little boy yelled, as if right on cue, "Just in time. Saved by the bell!" And the crowd of little kids streamed out the door to the buses and the cars that would take them home.
And just like that, another Monday gone. And only ten more to go. That should put a smile on your face.
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