Connect. Collaborate. Risk. Innovate.

Connect. Collaborate. Risk. Innovate.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

"Back to School" Dreams and Other Teacher Quirks

          Ask any teacher around this time of year, and most will reveal that an interesting phenomena sets in during these dog days of summer -- the "Back to School" dream. In some cases, these manifest as somewhat bizarre, often disjointed visions of desks and textbooks, marking and highlighters. But in other instances, these night time reminders of what is to come, take the form of anxiety tinged, pulse racing, night terrors. Interestingly, through speaking to my colleagues, I have discovered that the occurrence of such dreams seem as common amongst veteran teachers as with those who may be embarking on their first teaching assignment.
          Why do these night time disturbances occur one may ask? I would suggest that it speaks to the enormous obligation that most teachers feel to provide the most fulfilling, the most rewarding educational experience to their students that they possibly can. I know for myself, having spent a good chunk of the summer engaging in professional development and following the numerous educational twitter feeds and hashtags, I am eager to implement new initiatives and practices into my classroom come September. Having visited my school yesterday to set up my classroom and to photocopy and organize materials, I discovered several of my colleagues who were engaged in similar activities. With only a week and a half until the start of the school year, it seems that our teacher brains are in full swing with a seemingly non-stop stream of questions, ideas and concerns. How can I ensure that my grade 8s feel comfortable and welcomed on the first day of school? What can I do to help my grade 12s prepare for graduation? It is really possible to successfully oversee e-portfolios and conduct exit interviews for close to one hundred students?
          In the same way that the first back to school commercial in mid July filled us with scorn, those same commercials towards the end of August now result in a growing sense of excitement and anticipation for the year ahead. Similar to our students, many teachers are out purchasing that special pen or back to school outfit. So whether your night time disturbances take the form of pleasant visions of stickers and smiling faces, or more disturbing images of looming grim faced students and towering stacks of marking, rest assured that they stem from the same place -- a desire to do our very best for our kids. I wish you all a rewarding and successful 2013-14 school year!

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