The Monday Feeling for Teachers

It’s not new or unique to hate Mondays, but I think I add some much needed bitter rage to the cliche table of Monday hate. I never liked starting the week. As a student, it was the time when I would see the calm disappointed faces of my professors as they wondered why I thought I could get away with turning in a landfill disguised as a paper. Monday was the day I was required to hobble out of my hermit hole and interact with the bright, loud world. Things have changed now that I teach classes as well as take them. I thought I knew bitterness before. I thought I had something real to complain about. I was so young.

Exactly what I looked like before teaching. I was so carefree back then

Take a moment and a deep breath. Now, imagine you are sitting in in a cool void of crisp air. Your body can relax fully, and every muscle finally has time to rest. You’ve been working so hard, and now the weight of the world–and the world itself–is gone. There is only you and the void. Somewhere in the distance, you can hear light harp music. Clear, beautiful chords wash over you, and your mind drifts, as if on a slow but persistent river, to a place of pure serenity. Time has no meaning there, but a little part of you remains awake, a tiny coal of tension that never quite burns out. Suddenly, that coal roars to life, and you open your eyes. The cool room, the empty void, the harp music, they’re all gone. Now you’re in a sandbox as big as a football field. It’s humid, you’re sweating profusely and alarms are shrieking in your head, and then a hulking bald man charges toward you–you’re not sure where he came from, but he’s coming after you. The sweating behemoth sends waves of sand in the air with every step. He has tattoos of ambiguous meaning plastered upon his frankly excessive muscles. In his left hand is a small plastic bucket like what children use to make castles at the beach. He stops in front of you, grabs you be the chin, forces your mouth open, and pours bucket after bucket of sand down your throat. You silently beg for death, but there is only sand.

The tools of my nightmare

That’s what Mondays have become for me.

I miss the days when the end of the weekend only meant going to class or being disappointed with my homework. Now, I still do that, but I’ve also got to be the catalyst for the disappointment of others. I’ve seen the hollow-eyed shame as students hand me essays they would rather toss in an active volcano. When I see that look, I try to give a nod of encouragement, some sign that I know what they’re feeling and have also wanted to burn my work rather than let anyone else see it. For a lot of my students, I think I am more of an obstacle than a person, and I understand. I’ve had teachers whose humanity I have actively resisted acknowledging. Every math teacher I’ve ever had has been a robot sent from the future specifically to make me suffer. If any of my kids think I’m a robot, they must imagine the engineer behind my existence is some kind of clown prodigy, able to flawlessly replicate a perfect human form, but deciding instead to build a weird, goofy looking thing with a severe overbite and a frizzy mop on its head.

Sunday is like a bouncer at one of those clubs I’ve never been to. It lets me enjoy myself for a while, and then as the night gets late, it kicks me back into the real world where I’m supposed to be a real person and nothing is serenaded by war drums disguised as music. It’s Monday, and now it’s time to pry myself from the safety of my blankets and go meet with my students.

23 Replies to “The Monday Feeling for Teachers”

  1. Oh man I feel this so much. Sunday’s can be summed up best by Peregrin Took from Lord of the Rings…

    “I don’t want to be in a battle. But waiting on the edge of one I can’t escape is even worse.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Love those films. Always great to bring them up!

    Almost feels like Sunday is worse than Monday sometimes. At least towards the end of the night!


    1. There’s never a reason not the bring up Lord of the Rings.

      Sunday might be bad, but I think a lot of its badness comes from it being directly before the day you have to start doing things. Sunday is bad by association, it’s just hanging with a rough crowd

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Too true. Maybe it’s the fact that Sunday masquerades as part of the weekend while having the negatives of a week night.

        Maybe that’s why I love Friday. The Rep of a weekday with the benefits of a weekend. Weekday with benefits!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, I guess that I am the odd man out. Monday is my fourth favorite day of the week, and my second favorite day of the work week, behind Friday of course. Mondays are full of hope and promise! My idealism had all weekend to reconstitute itself and make any necessary repairs to its sagging frame. I come in Monday morning with hope against hope. This is the week, I say. They are going to get it. They are going to voluntarily put away their phones when they recognize the abundance of knowledge before them and the possibilities it will bring forth. It will all come together. America will reawaken to the importance of education. English will be once again vaunted to its rightful position. And then the day wears on, and on. By the end of the first day, I remember why Tuesday is the worst day of the week. Bankrupt and pulling toward Friday. That’s why we have prayer.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What can I say? I retired at the end of last year, so now my Monday is pretty much like every other day. That’s the good news. The bad news is that pretty much every other day is like a Monday.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I hear you, man! Mondays, currently, can be defined with these few sentences, repeated over and over again, grating on my brain like nails to a chalkboard: “Yesterday, on the Sunday, I have the lunch with my fathers. Is nice. We have the cheecken, the reesay [rice], and the flan because is the birthday of the girlfriend of my brother. She has 20 years.” No, they don’t have two fathers. How I wish they did so there would be one fewer error in this type of thing I hear EVERY MONDAY. If I’m lucky it isn’t all downhill from Monday and a few students get less rusty as the week wears on.


      1. I live for when something doesn’t reset after the weekend and it was learned well. Otherwise, it’s like being on Groundhog Day.


  6. I was a math teacher and also a robot. My role model was Daneel Olivaw whose first law of robotics was to NEVER harm or allow to be harmed a human. For that reason, I made Mondays fun days. After all, isn’t the purpose of high school to socialize and have fun? That always worked for me.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. My math teachers were all rather grim, except Dr. Hyatt in college–he was sometimes a hoot. (Dr. Zane was also, but I don’t think he meant to be; I mean, with a name like Zane teaching geometrical proofs, it leads to all sorts of absurdities.)

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I started teaching three years ago, and although I do love it, that familiar feeling of dread definitely comes over me every Sunday. It must be because we never truly get a break. I’m hoping that I can learn to find more reasons to look forward to Monday’s!

    Liked by 1 person

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