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Teacher Nightmares

August 26, 2012

As a former actress, I am familiar with the proverbial Actor’s Nightmare. I had no idea such a thing as a Teacher’s Nightmare existed.

I’ve now had two.

No, I wasn’t naked in front of my classroom, although I imagine that one will come in time.

The first nightmare took place during our back to school potluck, which, incidentally, will take place this week. In the dream, parents and students make their way down the hall toward my classroom like ants to a picnic. I rush through my class, scrambling to make it presentable. Tears threaten as I see all the things I have yet to do: bulletin boards to finish, nameplates to make, piles of curriculum to organize. The parents are nearly to the door of my class, just about to find me out for the fraud I am, when I wake up.

My second nightmare got me to the first day of school. The students were rowdy, uncontrollable. And they were old! Instead of my class of seven sweet third and fourth graders, I faced a class of thirty middle and high schoolers. Worse, it was the job of one of my fellow teachers to sit in and observe how I handled the class, which, of course, was poorly. The students didn’t listen. None of my classroom management skills worked. The other teacher was going to discover what I truly was: a fraud.

Notice a theme? I wonder if the fear of being a fraud is normal for any first year teacher, or is it unique to someone for whom teaching was not her first (or second, or third) dream for her life.

At least some of that insecurity is being released through dreams, rather than through complete and total meltdowns.

What about you? Have you experienced teacher nightmares (the sleeping kind?) What do they say about your fears?

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One Comment
  1. I am still having the student nightmare, where it is the last day of class and there is a final and I realize I haven’t been to class all semester!

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