Teacher Hacks: 5 Ways to Make the Most of Mondays
We are big fans of teacher hacks, and we’re especially fond of teacher hacks that help to combat the mess that can be Mondays.
Use this list of five tried-and-true ways to help ease the pain of Monday mornings in your classroom.
1.Have a Reoccurring Lesson
It took me a while to learn this lesson, but I during my third year, I started every Monday with vocabulary. Knowing what the first thirty-five minutes of every class period would be like on Monday morning truly helped to curb some of my stress.
Find something that you can have your students do every Monday morning (calendar time, spelling, vocabulary, math warm-ups, word problems, etc.).
Having an activity that you can bank on for Mondays help to ease both you and your students into the week nicely.
2. Pack Your Lunch/Lay out Clothes on Sunday Night
Regardless of how hard you try, Mondays are Mondays.
Things can get crazy.
Packing your lunch and setting out what you’re going to wear for the day makes for such a smoother morning. There is nothing worse than running around on a Monday morning trying to gather up what you need for the day.
Inevitably, I’d always end up forgetting something that was actually of importance: my coffee, the grading I did over the weekend, my laptop…
Not only does having all of this ready of Sunday night make for a smoother Monday morning, but it also helps you to get into the “going back to school” mind frame. It’s one small, but proactive step you can take on Sunday to help get your week started off to a fantastic start.
3. Already Have Copies Made
Here’s the thing about us teachers… there are two very distinct camps within a school: the camp who has their copies made for Christmas Break in October and then those of us who hand out very warm, hot-off-the-press copies to our students on the reg.
I was most definitely part of the second camp.
What I realized quickly, though, was Monday morning was not the time for last-minute copies.
The lines were always so long for the printers, and for whatever reason, Xerox machines must hate Mondays as well. Half the time one of the machines would be down and there’d be a group of us anxiously tapping our feet freaking out, hoping to get our must-have papers copied by the time the bell rang.
Once I started making my copies for Monday (forget Tuesday. I never said I was an overachiever) made on Friday afternoon before I left for the weekend, I realized that my Mondays were much more pleasant and I was in a much better mood for the beginning of the week.
4. Don’t Leave on Friday until You Know What You’re Doing in Class on Monday
This one piggy-backs off of number three. Know what you plan to teach on Monday before you leave school on Friday.
I ruined so many of my weekends my first year teaching because of how stressed out I was that I had nothing planned for the following week.
To be perfectly honest, most of my days I had no clue what I was teaching the following day. It took all I had in me to create a lesson and a corresponding lesson plan (why my department chair needed this for every single day I’ll never know) for each day.
Unfortunately for me, I started teaching before TeachersPayTeachers.com was around. I can’t even begin to imagine the time, energy and (I’ll be honest) tears that would have been saved had I been able to utilize this incredible resource.
Whether you create something, borrow a lesson from another teacher, or buy something off of TeachersPayTeachers, knowing what the plan is for Monday on Friday afternoon will ensure not only a happier Monday, but a more restful, enjoyable weekend.
5. Wake up Earlier Than Normal to Treat Yourself
After a nice, fun weekend, hitting that snooze button can be pretty tempting on a Monday morning.
Resist the urge.
Make time for yourself to ease into your day. Do something special for yourself, whether that’s actually enjoying your coffee sitting down or maybe taking the dog for a five minute walk.
Starting your day with something that will make you smile will fill your little teacher tank and give you some extra motivation to keep that smile on your face throughout another manic Monday.
We hope that this list helps in your efforts to make the most out of your Mondays. Do you have a brilliant teacher hack that helps ease the pain of Mondays? We’d love to hear! Tweet us at @johnshufeldt.