This will be my 16th year of teaching. Every year, every single year, I have the same dream on Labour Day Monday. The dream will wake me in a cold sweat panic and I will lay awake the rest of the night telling myself that it is only a dream...
My dream goes like this:
I have prepared the perfect classroom. Everything is organized and tidy. The room looks welcoming and comforting for my students. My bulletin boards are bright and colourful. Name tags label desks and coat hooks. I have tons of great books, some pillows and bright posters. I am extremely pleased with my room and I have worked really hard. (This part of the dream mimics reality -- that's what makes it so scary...) Then, on the first day, as students come into my room I notice that the bulletin boards have all fallen down. Name tags are missing or misspelled. My pillows are gone and the new books are gone, replaced with old, ripped ones. The room smells terrible and it looks so messy and dirty that I am ashamed.
I try to get the students' attention to explain that this is a mistake, that the room was perfect for them because I can't wait to be their teacher. The students won't listen. They are talking and not paying any attention to me. Then I start screaming at them. Screaming. Like a crazy person. I hate that I am yelling at my new students but I can't stop. Some of them start to cry.
Then I wake up with a big pit in my tummy.
Now that I've become a principal I usually have a second dream or the first one morphs into this:
I am in the gym addressing students and parents to welcome them back to school. They keep talking amongst themselves and I can't get the microphone to work. I start screaming. Screaming. Like a crazy person. I hate that I am yelling but I can't stop. I can't figure out why they won't listen to me. Then I look down and I see that I don't have any pants on.
Nice visual, I know.
I have resigned myself to these dreams. It won't matter how "seasoned" I become. I will still dream of crazy screaming and no pants -- probably I will still dream this into my retirement year in 2026.
It crossed my mind this morning that maybe I should have a couple of shots of something before I go to bed tonight; maybe I will sleep more soundly. Then I figured I might just add "screaming drunk with no pants" to the dream and I don't want to add any more elements of crazy to it.