It all starts with a Magnificent Monday!

Tomorrow is Thursday and it is time to start planning for a Magnificent Monday! (MM) Yes, I said it a Magnificent Monday!

I wish I could say I'm the originator of this idea but it comes from a book my parents gave me in the Christmas of 1999. Success is a Journey by Jeffrey J. Mayer has given me several of my favorite sayings!

Mayer says:

Set yourself up to have a highly productive – and GREAT – Monday morning and afternoon. Before you leave in the afternoon, review your Master List and identify the most important tasks you need to tackle so you can have a GREAT Tuesday.

Here is what I will do tomorrow:

MM Step 1) Evaluate this week

I look at this week's plan and make notes about what actually happened. I save my plans so I can evaluate them when I plan my year and give curriculum feedback.

MM Step 2) I draft a plan for next week
I note what I will do with page numbers of books and making a list of all things I need to make sure I have (tests, handouts, calendars, wikipages to set up, etc.)

MM Step 3) I look at the plan and consider the following things:

  • Flexible
    Is my plan flexible? Did I give myself margin so that I can answer questions and we can fully discuss the appropriate topics?
  • Focused
    Focused on curriculum objectives?
    I have objectives for all I do. No filler projects. Students know if a worksheet is pointless and irrelevant. They know if you're just biding your time until the summer. There is no excuse for unmeaningful sidetracks. Stay focused! I like to “get ahead” so that I can take planned, meaningful side journeys into the future!
  • Fun
    Do I “mix things up?” Online work? Offline work? Team projects? Individual work? Video taping? Photographs? Podcast? Boredom is the enemy of a good educational experience. Am I excited? Do I need to interject something new to get my own excitement level up? Is it time for a “reward” opportunity? What positive motivation can I add to the classroom? How are we going to laugh this week? When can we have fun as we learn? I schedule it in!

    Notice, when I say fun, I never mean “goof off.” Some teachers like “conversation time” or “goof off time” as rewards. I believe it is vital for students to have fun while learning. Work is a part of life. If you can't learn to have fun while you're working, you're going to have a long boring life! My students may have a few moments at the end of class but that is pretty rare. Fifty+ minutes of teaching. I don't have a second to waste!

    Fun can be like today. I had some fake million dollar bills that I found at a store. In all of my classes I had one million dollar question. I did it out of the blue and it was exciting. In one class I was teaching about backup up and suddenly said — first three people who give me the name of backup software get a million dollars — GO! In keyboarding, I had them race against their first time. If they matched or went higher for the next five timed writings they got — A MILLION DOLLARS! We laughed. We had a great time! The boy who won a million dollars went from 13 gwam to 30 gwam just today! No more errors than the first time! He said he didn't know he could do it — he just wanted a million dollars!

  • Feedback
    When will I give students a copy of their electronic progress reports? Students need to feel they have control over their grades and understand why they make what they make! If they were absent they need to know what they missed and have a chance to make it up. I care about mastery more than I care about ease of grading on me.

    We're currently evaluating gradebook software to go school wide but I have something I use in my classroom now that students can access. I'm not 100% crazy about it so I'm not going to blog about that yet!

MM Step 4) I update “the grid” on Friday.

(I have a 1/2 size white board with lines drawn on it and write the work for the day in the grid. This way students know upon entering the classroom what they will do. They know homework and they know all tests at the beginning of the week. I also have the date at the top beside the day of the week — that saves having to answer that question so much!)

MM Step 5) I “clean up my desk.”

Nothing is more motivating than to come in to a clean desk. Conversely, nothing is more unmotivating than a wreck of a desk on Monday morning. I'm really going to have to work on this one! I've got everything from RJ-45 cables to tomorrows test on it right now!

In Conclusion

I believe the key is in having a Magnificent Monday! Then, when you're done with Monday make sure you're ready to have a Terrific Tuesday. (It will be easier than Monday.) Follow this process and time will fly by as you have a MAGNIFICENT week, MAGNIFICENT month, MAGNIFICENT marking period, and MAGNIFICENT year! Keep going and you will have a successful, rewarding career as a teacher or in any profession!

I am passionate about starting right! You set the tone for the whole week! When you get behind, you get stressed, you get upset and you feel like a failure! When you start strong you feel like a winner from the first bell on Monday!

Take tomorrow and Friday to plan your Magnificent Monday!

Remember the footprints on the sands of time are not made by sitting down! (Anonymous)

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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