Today begins our district’s teachers’ work week before students report on Monday 27 August. I’ve already been up to school to work in my classroom five or six times. I had to move rooms this year so there was even more to do than normal because instead of already having half of my teacxhing materials in place, I had to unpack and organize all of them. I also had to inventory and organize my classroom library and build some bookcases. You know, the normal beginning of school routine. Then the actual planning of lessons and school and department meetings will happen all week to get prepared for the descent of the masses.
And per usual, I have begun having my annual Beginning-of-the-Year nightmares. Every year since my first year of teaching, I always have nightmares before school starts. Rarely are they the someone-is-chasing-me-in-the-fog nightmares, but more the naked-in-class nightmares. They’ve ranged from minor frustrations to truly scary scenarios. I have dreamt that all my student desks and materials were missing on the first day. That all of the documents I prepared in advance have gone missing. That my entire roster is comprised of the most reluctant students and students with the most challenging behavior I have had over the past 12 years. That my cats snuck into my school bag and are now loose in the building. That my classroom library has burned. That I am wearing mismatching shoes. That I have nothing to eat but “raw” Pop Tarts. I could go on. But I won’t.
After seeing an exchange on Twitter between two veteran teachers and how they still get nervous on the first day of school, I felt a little better. Clearly, I have an issue with dreams which lead to lack of sleep while I go over and over every last detail of my preparation. So, my question to fellow teachers is: How many of you still get nerves before the first day? And, how do those nerves manifest?