For teachers, Fridays create an interesting contradiction. The day begins with an air of excitement. Yay! It’s Friday! We made it! The weekend is in our sights, and that means rest and regroup.
So, where’s the problem? We still have one whole day ahead of us to teach. And for me personally, that second half of a Friday is one of the most difficult parts of my week.
This week was no exception. Three forty-five-minute classes filled with rhymes, body percussion, singing, and playing instruments made the morning fly by. On my feet-singing, clapping, snapping, scanning the room. Making sure everyone is engaged. It was exhausting! I’m not complaining here, just stating a fact. 😉
Next came lunchtime. Always a welcomed break. Visiting with my team, laughing while we ate. But right as the break is about to end, I suddenly found myself lacking the motivation to finish strong.
The afternoon brings kindergarten, 1st and 2nd graders. They require a much different level of energy when compared to my morning classes. In addition to the usual music activities, I now have to be a convincing puppeteer, tie shoes, and remind them to keep their hands out of their mouths and off of their neighbors.
Confession time. Today I was tempted to scrap my afternoon plans and take the easy way out. Surely there was an appropriate music activity we could do which would require less energy from me. After all, it was Friday.
But then the thought hit me-these little ones deserve the same energy I gave my morning classes.
I’m happy to say I did not give in to the temptation. And I’m so glad. We marched around the room while reviewing tempo terms, listened to a Freddie the Frog story, and played instruments. Instruments! Little hands echoing rhythmic patterns on xylophones and metallophones. They were making music, and their smiles made it all worthwhile.
Most certainly I will face this dilemma again. It’s part of being a teacher. If I’m being honest, there will be at least one “change of plans” day before the school year ends. My goal, however, is to remember today and the positives which resulted from pushing through. And when I feel this way again, allow those memories to help me once again finish strong.