A few years ago at the beginning of October I received a Facebook message from an old friend who had also become a teacher. She wrote: “Happy Monday afternoon!”
I was confused. Wasn’t it 8am on a Thursday?
She explained that if you take the 10 months of the school year and map them each to a half-day on a weekly calendar, then September becomes Monday morning, October becomes Monday afternoon, and so on. It ends up looking like this:
I’ve always loved this idea. It’s both playful and reframes my thinking. These are two characteristics that remedy a couple of traps I’ve fallen into in my career: feeling stuck and getting overly serious about things.
A Chance to CelebrateThis way of looking at the year also affords an opportunity to stop, reflect and celebrate what we’ve done so far. A month is actually a very short amount of time. If we stop and look at all we’ve accomplished in that short period, we will probably surprise ourselves.
Stopping to recognize accomplishments isn’t just a ‘feel good’ activity, either. How many of us would go an entire term, semester or even year without carving out time for our students to reflect on how far they’ve come? Reflecting on accomplishments gives our brain positive feedback and energizes future learning and engagement.
So, take some time this week to celebrate. Post a ‘weekly’ calendar like this one. (You can download a printable version of the example above for free here.) Jot down some notes of what you achieved on ‘Monday morning’. And take some time to really let it sink in.
Enjoy your afternoon; it’ll be Tuesday before you know it!