Last night began my yearly back-to-school nightmares, I mean dreams. In the most recent one, I was three hours late to school and all of my past principals, some student teachers, the superintendent and the guy who is in charge of the North Dakota Educator Licensing were there to observe how I use ENVOY, a nonverbal classroom management technique. Obviously arriving 3 hours late is not part of the program. I was teaching kindergarten again, like in ALL of my back to school nightmares, even though it's been ten years since I taught kindergarten. I had 25 kindergartners, and three did not know their names. None of them would listen and they kept running away from me while I was focusing attention to how I stood and used hand gestures (a big part of ENVOY). I didn't have a class list to take attendance. When I started taking attendance, a former principal yelled at me saying, "We don't waste time taking attendance anymore. You're worthless." Then the guy from the licencing department told me I should hand over my licence because I suck at ENVOY... Then I woke up. I really don't feel like I am bad at ENVOY, nor do I need to worry about what a former principal says, nor do I teach kindergarten, so I'm not sure what this last dream meant, but all of the back to school dreams are the same; a disaster. Sometimes kids are standing on the tables, sometimes they don't even belong in my class, one night I even yelled out, "STOP EATING THE MARKERS!" Maybe it's the anxiety and unknown of the beginning of the year. This made me think of how I am at the beginning of the year compared to the end of the school year, so I made a list:
Beginning of the year (BOY)- "I can't believe that teacher is yelling at her students to stop running down the hall. They're just little kids."
End of the year (EOY) - "I shall destroy all running second graders! They better get that out of their system before next fall!"
BOY- "You forgot your homework again? That's fine. Bring it in whenever you can."
EOY- "You forgot your homework again? That's fine. You can do it during lunch with me while I eat and pretend to laugh at imaginary things on my computer to create a facade that I have a life."
BOY- "I'm going to make 30 cupcakes for each child's birthday."
EOY- "A pencil, birthday sticker and a high five is celebration enough."
BOY- "I'm going to write out detailed lesson plans including thought provoking learning targets, and keep a running list of the standards I am teaching, as well as an "Essential Big Question" for the children to ponder while learning with each subject I teach."
EOY- "I'll glance at the resource 10 minutes before teaching it."
BOY- "I am going to buy all of the new cute decorations ever!"
EOY- "I am going to laminate the heck out of every poster I use so I'll never have to buy another decoration."
BOY-"I have organization under control. Everything is even color coded using my theme colors."
EOY- "I'll just put it in a pile in my hoarder cupboard (my coat closet)."
BOY- "Teaching supply stores are the BEST!"
EOV- "I hate teaching supply stores. They make my paycheck disappear."
BOY- "Teaching is like Mr. Holland's Opus, Freedom Writers and Dead Poets Society." EOY- "Teaching is a mix of Children of the Corn, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and Snakes on a Plane."
BOY- "Look how clean my car is."
EOY- "I have 21 empty cans of Dt. Mt. Dew, 18 food containers, and a box of 'school stuff'' I've been meaning to go through one weekend in my car..."
BOY- "I can't believe that news story about the teacher who started his day with a mug full of vodka."
EOY- "I totally get why that guy started his day with vodka... Yet I would not emulate because then the kids would win the battle AND the war..."
BOY- "Thanks, but I don't need any construction paper. I don't think we'll be using it anytime soon." EOY- "Sure. I'll take that construction paper. I don't know when we'll use it, but I can put it in my hoarder cupboard (AKA My Coat Closet)."
BOY- "Oh no! A scary parent meeting WITH THE PRINCIPAL How am I not meeting all of his/her needs. Initiate sweat mode, death take me quick. Hopefully they won't show up.
EOY- "Yawn. A scary parent meeting. Hope they show up on time."
BOY- "I only need one stapler in my room."
EOY- "NO you can't borrow my stapler! I only have eight!"
BOY- I'll miss summer, but I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE POSSIBILITIES OF A NEW YEAR!"
EOY- "I'll miss these kids, but BRING ON SUMMER!"
BOY-"I am going to wear the cutest teacher outfits ever!"
EOY- "Orthopedic shoes are my best friend. Is today the day for my GOOD sweatpants?"
BOY- "I'm going to use a whole sheet of paper for a five question quiz and make 24 copies." EOY- "I'm going to fit FOUR five- question quizzes on one piece of paper and only have to copy 6. Then I get to use the GUILLOTINE!- I mean paper cutter.