Every summer, without fail, I start having dreams about the first day of school. In my normal, waking, sane mind, I'm slightly nervous, but always looking forward to meeting and getting to know a whole new group of young, interesting human beings that will end up holding my heart in a very real way.
My subconscious, however, has a whole other issue. It is afraid. Very afraid. It gives me dreams... it thinks back to my first year of teaching when I had a much, much harder time controlling the classroom and it turns that into dreams.
Usually I wake up and am full of relief that it was only a dream. But last night it tricked me! In the middle of a dream where I was saying things over and over again and children weren't listening at all, my dream self said in despair, "And this time it isn't even a dream!"
But it was.
I wonder why, though, that this is the most deep-seated fear that my subconscious holds as a teacher. It's never that I won't build a relationship with a student, or they won't engage with the curriculum, it's that I somehow won't have built the routines with the students and the classroom will be out of control.
I imagine it really does come down to what my first couple of years of teaching were like. It took me a good two years to start to feel like I had a better handle on classroom management, and several more still before I got to this:
teacher/administrator: Well, [name of student] is, um... well, they're a little bit challenging.
me: *smile* Oh, bring it on. I am going to adore them!
Interesting, though, that after twelve years of teaching, and three or four summer school classes, and I'm still full of butterflies on the first day.
In spite of my nerves, though, today was a brilliant first day at summer school. The kids are nervous, adorable, and eager. I can't wait to learn more about them... tomorrow we start Writing Workshop!