3 English Phrases to Use At the End of the Work Week

Unless you are in an industry like retail or the restaurant business, which tends to require weekend hours, the typical work week for full time workers in the United States and many other countries is Monday through Friday. The following are 3 business English phrases you might hear and use at the end of a long work week:

Thank goodness it’s Friday!

This phrase is so common place that there’s even a chain restaurant inspired by it. After all the meetings, the scheduling, the tasks and project deadlines, you’ve made it to the end of the week! You’ve walked into the office or logged onto your laptop on a Friday morning, and you have a full day ahead of you, but the weekend is on the way. Thank goodness it’s Friday! (there’s even a variation for you grumpy folks out there, myself included: Thank god…!) I recommend saying this to yourself, colleagues and associates to start your day off positive.

Any plans for the weekend?

This is a question that you can pose to a colleague. You are asking if they are doing anything exciting, unique or special during their time off from work. In some cases, it’s a precursor to asking a colleague to join you somewhere at some point during the weekend or for a coworker to invite you to an event/a dinner party/etc. One caveat for customer service reps: I do not recommend you ask this to customers over the phone; they want you to fix the problem that they’ve come to you with, not share with you their weekend plans. In short, keep this one between staff and friends.

I hope you get a chance/find time to relax.

I once had a superintendent who would send a weekly email before the weekend to celebrate staff birthdays, make district announcements, and offer strategies and suggestions to attain success in the classroom. He would always sign off or close the email with the advice to “relax and recharge” for the following work week. It was kind of like a drill sergeant’s version of this phrase: I hope you get a chance (OR) I hope you find time to relax. What you are doing when saying this to a colleague, even a manager, is acknowledging the hard work that the person has put in over the course of the last 5 days, and that you recognize that they deserve a break, and hope that they take some time to sit back and enjoy the weekend, instead of worrying about work.

What are your favorite phrases to use at the end of the week? Are there any that you’ve heard, yet don’t quite fully understand?

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What’s Your Favorite Music to Listen to While Studying?

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/79/Minor_pentatonic_blues_scale_on_A.pngAlthough my full-time gig is in education, I’m also a musician and music lover who appreciates a wide array of genres: hip hop, blues, new age, rock, jazz & classical, in no particular order. And while I have some bad habits (namely, listening to C-Span in the background while writing and preparing lessons), I know that there’s only a few types of music that I can let play in the background while doing things that are academic in nature. So let me take a second to turn off Brian Lamb (while you turn off Black Sabbath) and I’ll share with you a list of my favorite types of music to play when it’s time to work. Count-off a 1, a 2, a 1, 2, 3, 4!

  1. New Age on Calm Radio

This is a big, expansive genre that ranges from traditional piano music and single instrument showcases to atmospheric & outer space synthesizer sounds. The idea is simplicity; calm and relaxing sounds that just ask that you hear them while focusing on your academic task at hand.  Recommendation: in my humble opinion, George Winston is the greatest living piano player on Earth and can a play a little something for everyone, whether its the Doors, Vince Guaraldi, religious classics or his own originals that attempt to express seasonal themes. Check George Winston out delivering this incredible live performance below.

  1. Classical music on my music library

Go to any public library or Half Priced Books store and you can borrow or buy all the classical music you’ll ever need on a collection of CDs for anywhere between free to a couple bucks a piece. Vinyl collectors can find a slew of great selections for cheap also. Recommendation: While I’d stay away from Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov for the purposes of academics (often very loud and anxious horn orchestrations), Felix Mendelssohn comes to mind as a go-to. I’m also a fan of Franz List, whose piano tracks can be utterly upbeat and motivating.

  1. Blues on TuneIn

You might have noticed at this point that I tend to avoid vocals and lyrics when studying or preparing. Well, this is my exception to the rule. TuneIn provides a lot of great radio stations across the U.S. and the globe, whether terrestrial or internet stations, and blues is one of my favorite offerings. I turn to shows like “Confessing the Blues”, “Blues After Hours” & the “Blues Connection”, especially when I’m working under the moon. The reason I can listen to the genre, as opposed to others with singing and lyrics, is the call and response nature of the music, and because the whole experience of blues cuts deep to my soul, and complements the efforts I’m putting into my work for the benefit of my students. Recommendation: Albert Collins…pure genius!

  1. Gregorian Chant on Calm Radio

I came across this gem of the meditative music world a few years ago while living in the Northern Neck of Virginia. It was also around the time that I had discovered Calm Radio. Its origins trace back to the 9th and 10th centuries in western and central Europe where choirs of men and boys sang sacred songs as part of the ceremonies of the Roman Catholic Church. I find that the songs help me relax, read and write. Take a listen.

Honorable Mention:

Jazz music, with one caveat: like other genres, some of it tends to be distracting, so tread lightly or know the band or musician well. I like the Crusaders, the incredible Bob James and for those looking for a more recent contemporary, check out Brian Blade & the Fellowship Band.

I hope you enjoyed this list. That said, I’d love to add to my repertoire, so please add your suggestions and comments below. Keep reading, and keep listening. Merry Christmas!

Great Websites for Social Studies Teachers

Every teacher has their personal favorites when it comes to websites and resources online that help them hone their craft. As a social studies teacher who is always trying to improve his lessons and courses, I’ve come to rely on a few websites that are definitely worth checking out:

USHistory.org – This is a free collection of online textbooks for social studies. There is a U.S. History, Ancient Civilizations and American Government textbook. I use it mainly for my online courses and tutoring, however, I can also see how this website would be useful in a traditional setting when students go to their school library or use technology in the classroom & do research for a project.

UH – DigitalHistory – This website from the University of Houston provides an extraordinary collection of primary sources, digital stories, public domain images, timelines, lesson plans and more for both teachers and students. There are written historical overviews for every major American historical era since the first Americans (pre-Columbus), and each era contains links to and passages about the documents, events, people, music, film, and images that are related. It’s the motherlode of social studies content!

Quizlet – When I’m short on time, but need to be ready for an upcoming lesson, I use Quizlet and its myriad of both teacher and student created flashcards. It helped me remediate my civics students in Virginia, and it allows students to take the learning into their own hands when you provide iPads in a small group setting.

It contains a pretty intuitive set of activities: learn, flashcards, matching, write, spelling and test. It does contain one hiccup: when using the learn or test activity, student answer choices can become quite obvious, e.g. What’s the distance a Phoenician ship could say in a day? A) 30 miles, B) Carthage, C) King Minos, or D) 60,000? However, that aside, it’s a priceless resource for social studies teachers.

That’s all for now. I’ll continue to update this post as more great resources are added to my repertoire. Have any suggestions? Leave a comment below, and sign up for our free newsletter to receive more social studies teaching tips.