I've been consciously trying to put aside all thoughts about returning to school in T-minus 9 days, because every time I start thinking about one thing, it's as though I've opened a floodgate and a wave of thoughts sweeps me off my feet. Unfortunately, my subconscious hasn't quite gotten that memo. Over the past 2 weeks, I've had more than a couple teacher nightmares. Many other veteran teachers assure me that this common, but that isn't quite a warm & fuzzy thought.
One of the more stressful dreams I had was one in which the whole day went fine - I had honors classes 4 out of 5, until (of course) 6th period, which was unexpectedly a standard class. Naturally, as the last class of the day, it was chock full of the most behaviorally-unmanageable kids I'd ever had. There were only about 4 Meek & Milds in there - everyone else had ADD or ADHD and was bouncing off the walls. They were all students I'd had before, too, so I was dealing with:
A. the bafflement of why they were in 10th grade English again, and
B. frustrated rage that they wouldn't behave.
For about 45 minutes (note: the entire class period), I ran around just telling each kid to sit down...SIT down....sit DOWN....SIT DOWN!SHUTUP!SITDOWN!!! *insert scream of agony* The bell rang and I gave them what'fer, informing them that we will NOT have another day like today, because God bless 'em, there's 4 kids in here who are good & want to read and BY GOLLY I WILL TEACH THEM. My nerves were positively knotted when I woke. It took about 5-10 minutes of breathing exercises before I recovered.
Dream #2 was similar in that it started out okay: it was the first day of school and my first period was absolutely angelic. The bell rang, I dismissed them, and then...and then *insert music of Dread* second period began, and ohmygoodness. I didn't have one empty seat, which was a problem, because I had 30 desks. Some of you overcrowded teachers may scoff, but 28 is about the limit to my room and still be able to move around - teacher or student. So, I was side-shuffling my way around the room, stopping at each desk and asking the student to sit quietly. Of course, it was useless; again, I felt my patience & nerves wind up like a taut violin string - one more turn and I'd snap. To add insult to injury, Competent Assistant Principal (CAP)#1 was sitting at my desk for an evaluation! I begin seething inwardly. How dare they pull an observation on the first day! What are they thinking!?
A minute later, a student in the back begins talking, so I meander in the direction, channeling Steven Seagal -- out for justice, if you will. I lean over and say in my most threatening growl, "If you utter one more word, I'll have you out of this room and into The Office before you can blink." Imagine my surprise when I look up to meet the eyes of CAP#1 AND CAP #2, who were the source of the chatting. They held my eyes for just a moment before bursting into laughter and apologizing for the noise. I blush to the tips of my fingernails and murmur a half-laugh/half-apology and back away slowly. I remember thinking, "Well, at least they like me and can take a joke..." I return to the front of the room, cringing, and silently cursing them again for choosing today of all the days that are holy to evaluate me.
Man. I have do some deep breathing exercises after just recounting those horrors. But, since they're supposed to be common to all teachers, c'mon, spill. What are some of your more vivid or memorable teacher nightmares?