Before the first day of school after a break, I always have nightmares. Every time, it’s been me standing in front of a huge group of kids, none of whom will listen to me. They talk to one another and find creative ways to misbehave. I try every strategy I can think of, and it only gets worse and worse and worse.
This year, I had a nightmare, but it wasn’t in a classroom anymore. This time, it was about standing up in front of teachers. I was running a session on our school’s systems and wanted them to pair up to talk about something. Instead of doing it, they just kept talking, talking, talking to one another. I can’t use the same strategies on adults that I use on kids (well, at least not without it feeling entirely condescending and rude) and so I had nothing to make it better. I just kept going to them one by one to ask them to pay attention. Each one would pause talking just long enough for me to go to the next teacher, and then they’d start up again. I woke up entirely frazzled and deeply relieved that it was a dream.
I think my first year of teaching really screwed up my brain.