Monday, November 18, 2013
I don't like Mondays. Mondays are by far my least favorite day of the week, during the school year and during the summer. Even after many years of teaching, I never feel I can be ready for the new week. Monday is when grades are to be updated on RENWEB, our grading Internet link with parents and students, and that includes the previous Friday's assignments. (Every other week, I give 110 tests on Friday that must be graded and entered by Monday.) Lesson plans for the week are also due Monday on RENWEB and I try to have all of my tests and quizzes sent to the incomparable Jennifer Zalud for printing as well. Factor in the normal daily preparation to teach that Monday and it can be overwhelming, especially for less experienced instructors. Hey, even The Carpenters lamented 1/7th of the week in their mournful hit Rainy Days And Mondays...and if you don't know the song, the next line is always get me down.
The Monday Syndrome carries over to basketball practice as well. We are in our fifteenth week of school and every Monday has seen a less than stellar practice first period, which is our time slot. (I should note that I consider the Tuesday after Labor Day and Columbus Day as Mondays in that it becomes the first day of the week.) I think there are logical reasons. First and foremost, my players are sixth-seventh-eighth graders and they are social. Usually, they have not seen each other in more than sixty hours and they have some catching up to do. As a group, they are more easily distracted and less focused on Mondays and maybe they just dread it a little like I do. Like coach, like player, like maybe.
So guess what happened today? WE HAD A TERRIFIC PRACTICE! There was nothing to predict it would be a great one and yet, that's the way it turned out. I added two new drills to work on areas of struggle and we repeated another new drill the kids really like. We were coming off a Friday night game that we lost but which left the kids feeling better about themselves as a team. It started a little slow as I got on them for being silly in the pre-practice prayer but we straightened that out and then, wow. I wish we could bottle it but you can't. Mature teams are consistent but even adults and coaches are inconsistent. Why is one day better than another, one practice better than another? I'm not sure but I do know that we enjoy them too little and despise them too much. Psalm 90:12 makes this point:
"Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom."
Too often I endure days instead of numbering them. What seemed like a never ending year back on our first practice of the year, on a Monday, has now dwindled to the place where the sand on the bottom of the hourglass is almost equal to the sand on top. My time with these kids will run away quickly and there will be no more days, Mondays or otherwise, to be together as a team and learn lessons that will endure after the basketballs have been put away for the last time. By my calculations and discounting the weeks of finals, only nineteen more Mondays in the 2013-2014 school year. I'm already emotional.
Applicable quote of the day:
“So. Monday. We meet again. We will never be friends—but maybe we can move past our mutual enmity toward a more-positive partnership.”
To hear The Carpenters' classic Rainy Days And Mondays, click below!http://youtu.be/F42VVAwa6tA
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Steve Hawley at 8:52 PM