The First Back-To-School Nightmare

Last night I had my first teacher nightmare of the school year. 

I spent the entire dream holding my best I-will-wait-until-it's-quiet staredown, and I never got it. 

I stood there looking into the distance of my extremely long and narrow classroom (which is long and narrow in real life, but was exponentially so in the dream) and realized I couldn't even see into its distance; it probably packed 200 students into the class -- oh gosh I would never learn their names. 

At one point I squinted and saw in the vast distance one student get up and physically carry another student out of the room. I couldn't make sense of the situation, since I couldn't even really see those students from how far away I was, and I kept my stoneface and thought to myself, "Bah, I guess I'll figure out who they are and deal with it later." And then I waited some more.

The thing about my fitful sleep is,

I'm about to embark on my tenth year of teaching.

Ummmm, excuse me? What? When did that happen?

When I started I certainly imagined these dreams would be out of my life by now, that I would at this point in my career be sleeping soundly and having dreams where every student submits the assignment on time and gives me compliments about how much they learned while completing it. I would give a proud smile to each student and say warmly and honestly, "Oh, I can't wait to read this!"


This phenomenon is so humbling. Getting the sweats thinking about the first day of school is a weirdly pleasant reminder about this job: there are a lot of unknowns, I'll never learn all there is, I'm only one piece of an impossible monster of a puzzle, and every year is a brand new challenge. 

image source unknown

No comments:

Post a Comment