Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Tuesday SOL Ready or Not, Here She Comes!

This is a Tuesday Slice of Life for Two Writing Teachers
Check out their website for many more reflections on teaching.


It is back to school time! I return to school next Monday for a week of professional development; the children arrive the following Monday for "Meet and Greet," and our first day of school is August 26th.

I've had three back-to-school dreams in the past week! Funny, funny, funny:

1. A field trip is planned and it is for all ages, preschool through elementary...it's early in the school year, and I don't know all the students yet...some 83 students are signed up for this field trip, and all I have is the list of their names and grades. The bus has pulled up in front of the school, and the driver is impatient to go; the cafeteria is packed with students of all ages, excited to leave. The ten chaperoning teachers are clumped together in the back corner of the cafeteria, lost in chatter with one another, oblivious to the students. The students begin streaming out of the cafeteria and onto the bus...only one teacher makes it onto the bus, when the doors close, and the bus pulls away from the curb. It turns out, I'm in charge! Panicked, I run towards the bus, holding my clipboard, crying, "WAIT!! I don't know who is on the bus!! I haven't checked off their names!! I don't know where you are going!! There are not enough teachers on the bus!! There are no chaperones!" The bus drives away.

2. "Meet and Greet" is in full motion, but I'm still setting up my classroom...it looks like a department store on a sale day, some semblance of order but items strewn here and there. Books are stacked high on all surfaces. We've had so many meetings this past week! I never got to set up my classroom! Here are the children, here are their families. It is borderline chaos. I can't introduce my new Teaching Resident, because she hasn't yet been offered the position...my principal hopes to hire her by October or November. How can I do this all by myself? I can't keep track of the new faces, parents aren't supervising their children (they seem to think I'm in charge!) and children are running from the classroom...I can't see who is coming or going because the stacks of books are so high, they block my line of vision.

3. It's the first week of school and I am so excited to meet my new preschoolers and their families, but I wonder if anyone will notice that I'm pregnant? Will I have the chance to meet with my principal and head of school to share this totally unexpected news before the families begin chattering about it? This is a nightmare, being pregnant with my fourth child at age 55! I am in good health, but, will I be up to this challenge - being on my feet with these lively preschoolers as I grow in size? I still haven't shared the news with my adult sons or my daughter-in-law...I'm sure they are going to be freaked out...as I am. How is this even going to work?

There are some serious recurrent themes here! My goodness! I woke up from each of these in a cold sweat.

After all these years of teaching, I'm still wondering -

How will I manage up the enormous and immediate responsibility of caring for these new little preschoolers? 
How quickly will I learn the names of everyone in my class? 
How quickly will we form a bond?
What will my relationship with the families be like?
What about my relationship with my new Teaching Resident?
How well will we work together?
Will I have enough time and clarity of thought to set up my room the way I want?
What "outside" burden(s) will be thrown my way, that I will have to juggle as I teach? (Definitely not pregnancy!)

Funny how the mind works when you are sound asleep.


  1. Oh, I laughed out loud reading about your back to school dreams! They are so crazy, but they're exactly the sort of thing I dream about at the end of every summer (although I haven't yet dreamed that I'm pregnant). I'm also feeling a little relieved that I'm not the only one waking up in a panic!

  2. Wonderful to share these crazy nightmares! I wonder if you will get lots of comments detailing others' dreams. Here's mine: I have this recurring dream at least twice each summer before school begins. It has variations but the basis is this. I am in a new room in a new school. I just got there. I don't have what I need, and what I do have is not put away. There are children outside in an unsafe place with no fences and they are unsupervised. But somehow I am responsible. And parents are about to walk in, it is almost time to begin, and I don't yet know my plan for the morning, even.
    In one dream the kids were playing by a highway, in another they were lost in the woods. In another the classroom was in an old house and I opened a fridge to find it full of beer!
    Ah, anxiety... Keep calm and prepare :) I enjoyed your post!

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  4. Your dreams are funny especially the one about the pregnancy. The amount of responsibility must be overwhelming until you get in the groove. Hope you have sweet dreams soon.

  5. I had a panic attack and broke out in a cold sweat while reading the pregnancy dream! Lol

  6. I always panic about learning names, and this year I'm teaching a night class at the university that meets once a week. How will I learn their names!

    And yikes, being pregnant at 55. I shudder to think about that. It truly is a nightmare. I don't have enough energy for the dogs. What would I do w/ a baby!

    My room won't be set up. We'll be lucky to have access before kids come back to school. Good thing I'm in high school where cute bulletin boards don't matter so much!

  7. Tomorrow is my first day with students, and I definitely needed a good laugh! These dreams were so funny. I always begin dreaming about school a few days before the new school year begins, but none of my dreams brought such a big smile to my face. Thanks for sharing!

  8. My teacher friends and I know summer is over when the nightmares begin. Mine are usually about accidentally teaching naked, or having to take a final exam in a class that I never attended. The theme is always hopeless lack of control. I just turned 60 and have been teaching since I was 22. Wouldn't you think I would have a grip on this by now?