For anyone who's been in the profession long enough, they know that around this time of year, they begin having teacher dreams. Some make more sense than others. I had one last night.
It was the first day of school and I went back to the classroom, the real classroom, with all the students. I watched them enter from the doorway and chatted with coworkers in between. There was positivity and promise of a new school year in the air. I went through every period of the day and I even was part of a co-taught English class with another one of my esteemed colleagues. I remember saying to the students, "She is an outstanding English teacher, and I'm an okay English teacher." It was meant to be a joke, but my colleague gave me a look of death as I said it.
As one of the classes neared the end, one of the students said that I seemed like a chill kind of teacher, but one of his classmates (a student I had the year before) spoke up. "He's not always. Remember when you chewed out Trinity for not being ready for her project?"I recall saying that I shouldn't have done that or something or other. Weird.
It's just one of several teacher dreams I've had in the past. I've had one where I taught English at an elementary school, even though I teach high school. I had one where I taught at the high school I attended, but got lost on the first day. Dreams are funny like that, but teachers will tell you that the closer school gets, the more likely they are to have teacher dreams.
The dream I had last night painted the picture of a return to normal school, which was just the opposite of last semester's remote learning. It is still not fully known what the fall will look like, but whatever it looks like, it will not be normal. It will feel like some weird dream. But that's okay. Somehow we make it through our dreams. Somehow we navigate our reality when we wake up.
I usually begin to prepare for the new year around this time, but how I prepare for it will change as we find out how the year will look here. Teachers around the country will have to adapt their lesson planning. But teachers are like rubber bands. We need to be flexible to change. We need to adapt. I will be researching Web 2.0 tools and tech-integrated materials to help my students get through these unprecedented times.
We are in a world that would have seemed like a weird dream only just six-seven months ago, but now has become our reality. But that's really no different than when we wake up from every other weird teacher dream we ever have anyway. Who knows what teacher dream I'll have next? Because this is probably just the first one in a string of them this year, and that's okay. As long as I can sleep through the night, that's all that matters.