Monday Blahs

Holy crap.

I have a class that meets on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 8:10 in the morning.  It seems that this is far too early for the average college student, because they are all essentially zombies.

Today was the worst.

We’re getting into the “learning to critique your own and others’ writing” phase of the course, and I strolled in this morning asking them to do a quick-and-dirty critique of one of the stories they read were supposed to read this weekend.  “What did you like about the piece,” I asked, “and what didn’t really work.”

Crickets, is what I’m saying here.  They wrote practically nothing, and I carried the conversation essentially by myself.

I have got to figure out a way to get them a little more energized in the morning.  My orders suggestions of coffee (or Red Bull) seem to be falling on deaf ears, and the fact that I brought in a couple dozen Munchkins didn’t seem to ameliorate the situation at all.  They also fail to recognize that I, too,  have to be here at 8:10,  nor do they consider that my day starts a hell of a lot sooner than that (one girl admitted to rolling out of bed at 8:00, just in time to walk to class on time). 

I would like to enjoy this course, but if it’s going to be a matter of me stomping up and down – or playing the clown trying to entertain a bunch of sleep-deprived teenagers – it’s going to be a frickin’ long semester.

Sigh…

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6 Comments

Filed under concerns, frustrations, General Griping, Teaching

6 responses to “Monday Blahs

  1. Ugh. It’s awful that such a small detail has such a large impact on the character and feel of the classroom. Maybe start the class with jumping jacks?

  2. Or a couple invigorating yoga poses?

  3. Oh my, Mrs. Chili. It’s as if you had a window into my classes this semester. Two of them are great, the other four…well, I’d welcome even the sound of crickets.

  4. Jen

    I took music theory classes for six quarters that met at 7:30 in the morning. I imagine that we were zombies, too, but the vocal warm-up drills really helped to wake us up. I think the idea of starting class with yoga poses is a great one. It would get the class moving and maybe help the students to feel more comfortable talking to each other (and you).

  5. Hmm, that is early. If your class isn’t into yoga, you could bring a coffee maker (I know you said they weren’t responding to that) and arrive at class a few minutes early, so that by 8am it could be ready, then have some invigorating music going and do a mini social hour from 8:00 to 8:15 or so before class (yes, you lose five minutes, but maybe worth it?) I might have even gotten to class a few minutes early for that in my student years. Though even if they don’t, maybe the smell of coffee in the air would help wake them up?

    Or maybe you are just in for a long semester. Let us know if you find something that works!

    The only other suggestion I have is to let them start slowly, maybe with a ten-minute freewrite, to get them going before they actually have to start discussing stuff. Or some other “icebreaker” activity that is still relevant to the aims of the class.

  6. Kate and Jen have some good ideas. I would have resented a teacher that tried to make me do physical warm ups (even yoga) to wake up for class. But oral reading out loud exercises would have done it!!! The fear alone would get my bp up and me awake.

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