How Little Things Change
Last week I had my first anxiety dream about returning to school. In it, I was completely unprepared for any of my classes, and when I came up with a backup plan and went riffling through my file cabinet, the handout I needed was nowhere to be found. Toward the end of the dream I looked up at the students and realized I had taught them all last year. They were looking at me scornfully as if to say, Come on, you can do better than this.
I think that to myself all the time. It goes along with my belief that a teacher is only as good as the last class period she taught. Every day is different, and every student is different, and that's what makes teaching so exciting, so interesting, and such a challenge.
Every year at the end of August I start to panic a little. What made me think I could do this? Can't I just have the same students I had last year? What if they don't like me?
It is amazing how much being a teacher is like being a student.
I remember poring over school supplies and new clothes, sharpening pencils and vowing to be more organized this year. I remember wondering who would face me at the other end of the classroom, and not being able to sleep the night before the first day. That night always felt more to me like New Year's Eve than any December 31st.
The next morning, I put on my carefully selected outfit and tried to act casual, like I had it all under control. All the while feeling so much potential it made my heart race.