Monday, November 17, 2014

Rainy Mondays

When it comes to the list of things we teachers love to hate, rainy Mondays are at the top.  Of course there’s that first thirty minutes of the day when they come in dazed and confused, cold and wet, shoes squeaking and umbrellas dripping, leaving a trail to their desk that someone else is bound to slip in soon.  Those first thirty minutes aren’t so bad… They’re as tired as you are, as cranky as you are, and there’s this overwhelming sense in the room that perhaps if we’re all quiet, we can pretend we’re still in bed and this is just a bad dream. 

If you’re lucky, that eerie quiet and stillness might even last through the first hour or so.  That’s all dependent on whether or not someone slipped in the previously mentioned puddle, causing the whole class to erupt in giggles and suddenly wake out of their rainy Monday morning stupor.  But if you manage to sop up the puddles by skating around the floor with one foot on a paper towel while you collect the never-ending pile of Monday morning paperwork, lunch money, and transportation notes, you might manage to steal an hour or two of peace before the hysteria sets in.

But no matter what, the rainy Monday hysteria will have set in by 10 am.  As soon as they realize they’re trapped in those four walls for the entire day, the silliness and senseless questions will begin.  Every time you stop to breathe, they’ll start to chat, and every time it starts to rain harder, someone will announce it, causing everyone to stop what they’re doing and stare as if they’ve never seen rain.  Heaven forbid we hear a clap of thunder; who isn’t afraid of a storm if it gets them out of concentrating on their work?  And just to be sure, despite the monsoon outside and even if there has been an occasional clap of thunder, AT LEAST half a dozen kids will ask throughout the day if we’re going outside.  Today I actually had another student answer this question even more sarcastically than I would have myself.

You can’t dim the lights to calm them down, because there’s no sunlight to justify the appearance that we’re still accomplishing something.  And if you do manage to keep them calm somehow, that will change when it comes time to walk down the hall, to specials, to lunch, to wherever.  Apparently rain is even more amazing when it’s spotted outside larger doors and windows in the hallway, and we all have to point it out to our friends and sometimes we even stop and stare.  Not to mention the twenty-some pairs of squeaky shoes and the fact that some of us decide to count the line-walking as our exercise for the day and start spinning and skipping as we go.

There comes a point in the midst of a rainy Monday when you realize you’ve gone into survival mode and the day has become an out-of-body experience.  You continue on with the lesson plans and the teaching, but in your mind, you’re already at home on the couch, under a blanket, by the fire, making plans to make Tuesday more productive (with a little help from a sunny forecast).  Thank God it’s that time, and thank God we’ve survived another rainy Monday!  And, most of all, thank God that I love my job, even on a rainy Monday.  Still yet... here's to hoping the next one is cold enough for a snow day instead! :)

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