I call it the Sunday Blues. I've heard it referred to as the Sunday Scares. Either way, you know the feeling I'm referring to. It's the dread that comes along with Sunday's, the day where seemingly everything you need to get done must get done. But I'm here to help Sunday get rid of its bad rap. It's time to give Sunday's back to the teacher! Here's how:
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Teaching shouldn't be any every man for himself type of job. If you work in a building where collaboration is the norm, then use it to your advantage (and if you don't, get out). Bounce ideas off of each other. Share lessons and materials. Seek out teachers in other buildings in your district who might be willing to share. Just be sure that you give if you take. You don't always need to reinvent the wheel yourself, and if you do, you certainly don't have to do it alone. There are a plethora of resources out there if you’re willing to find them.
Manage Your Time
We are all varying degrees of busy. Some of you are juggling teaching and running a household, graduate school, another part-time gig, and much more. Or maybe you're just teaching, and that's more than enough. There is no one size fits all response to help you manage your time. But the more streamlined your classroom responsibilities are, the less time outside of school you'll have to spend addressing them. Reflect on the aspects of your job that are taking up time in life outside of work. Then ask yourself why you're having to spend time on these things outside of class in the first place. What might you do differently to prevent it from happening, or to keep it from taking up too much time? If you are spending hours grading, consider whether or not the feedback you're providing will be used to help students move forward with their learning experience. Perhaps revisit the assignment's worth overall. Take the time to think through small ways you might adjust your day to day in the classroom to help out in the long run.
Do Something for You
This one should be obvious, but I think it needs to be said anyway. You've got to find some way to reboot over the weekend. If you don't, you'll burn out entirely too quickly. Take an hour to catch up on your favorite television show. Go for a walk, or play a game with your family or friends. Read for pleasure. Just allow yourself some time to do whatever makes you happy. You might also find it helpful to plan something for you during the week as well. Having something to look forward to can also make Sunday's seem more tolerable. Either way, know that your students need a happy and healthy you to get the most out of your time together.
Let It Go
There has to be something on your plate that can go another day without getting done.
Perhaps not doing any work on a Sunday is impractical, whether you're a new teacher, or you've been teaching for years. In fact, taking time on Sunday to reflect on the week ahead is the perfect opportunity to move forward with a clear head, and a resolve to do whatever you can in the best interests of kids. If you can find a way to remind yourself that in the end, that's all that matters, Sunday's might not seem so bad after all.