I am typing on a computer whose “T” key will randomly not work. It took me two tries for almost every T in the last two sentences which is rather frustrating.
For the last couple of nights, I have had weird “back-to-school” nightmares which I’m not even certain that I would describe as nightmares as they really have no similarity to my traditional “back-to-school” nightmares. Usually, those dreams are me erupting with anger and saying horrible things and then begging my students for forgiveness. But these recent dreams have been nothing like those.
Two nights ago, the dream was that I was told that after this school year, I would no longer be a teacher as I was being surplussed and would be working as a librarian. Irony: I have given lots of thought to eventually becoming a librarian. However, in the dream, I was totally horrified. I was being told that I was not going to be a teacher. My passion in life was steadily being diminished which was painful and confusing. I couldn’t understand why I was being selected to leave when my work performance hadn’t slacked.
I woke up that morning literally panicked.
And then, last night, I dreamt about going back to school and learning on the first day of school (not the first day of teacher work week) that I had lost my classroom and that I was going to be a floater. Now, I floated for three years and it’s actually quite wonderful. The tension that most teachers experience at the beginning and end of the year when they have to pack their classrooms does not exist for the floating teacher. It’s called: park your cart. Go home. Have a good day. Done.
But, last night, in my dream, I entered the school building expecting to go my beautifully decorated classroom. Only to realize that earlier in the morning my classroom had been given to a different teacher. So, I started the morning not knowing where my students and I were going to meet. In addition, I had no idea where my stuff was. I went to my old classroom to gather my attendance records/grade book and looked mournfully around my no-longer-my-room. It was a lovely room, filled with trees.
Yes, trees. Real huge trees that were alive and beautiful and wonderful and provided shade.
In my classroom.
Don’t ask. It’s a dream. It’s no supposed to be realistic.
I apologized to the new teacher and promised that I would clean up my mess later that day. Then I ran to my new room wherever it was to find my students.
It took forever. In some respects, I feel like I travelled to my old elementary school that was in Germany because the hallways were incredibly familiar and, then, they were distant and forgotten, like they were clouded with the ghosts of memories that were both tangible and real and foreign and terrifying.
But, eventually, I found my classroom which was tiny and had enough desks for about ten students, maybe fifteen. However, according to the paperwork, I was supposed to have about sixty kids in the room. But I only had about ten. More terror. I was late to my class. My students weren’t in the correct room. I had nothing. And my room was not my own room that didn’t have enough people nor enough desks.
I asked the students who were supposed to be in English 10. All the hands shot up. The students’ faces filled with enthusiasm.
I might no have my classroom filled with trees, but I had my students.
So let’s bring this back to writing with a computer that doesn’t have a perfectly functioning t…
It’s not that big of a deal. Much like not having the classroom that I expected to have or the classes that I expected to have. In the end, I had my job and I was going to figure out how I was going to make the best of it, regardless of the inconvenience.
I am not always this hopeful or positive. I also don’t have back-to-school nightmares that deal with such “hangnail” situations. I can see that my anxiety around the new classes I will be teaching is wreaking havoc with my brain which is translated into wonky dreams. I can be all Freudian about them, but my father was nowhere to be found so I don’t see the point.