Saturday, September 4, 2010

school dreams

One of my favorite authors of all time is Barbara Kingsolver. I mention that fact gratuitously because my topic reminds me of her book Animal Dreams. Each time I read a new book of hers, I say, "THIS is my FAVORITE book that she wrote." My most recent favorite Kingsolver book is The Lacuna, which I read in print and listened via Kingsolver's audiobook recording last spring. (Who knew she spoke Spanish so well???) I also listened to the first half of her audiobook recording of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. (Half of the book is how much I could enjoy learning about Kingsolver's "eat local" endeavors. Special bonus of the audiobook is her daughter reads the essays/recipes that she wrote in the book!) Her readings are truly wonderful :)

Other audiobook favorites of mine: Eat, Pray, Love written and read by Elizabeth Gilbert (who has a lovely speaking voice, whose SISTER is Catherine Gilbert Murdock who wrote the terrific young adult realistic fiction Dairy Queen trilogy), I Feel Bad About My Neck written and read by Nora Ephron (laughing that hard while driving is a safety hazard, but it's not my fault), Who Moved My Cheese, and The Red Pyramid (book 1 of The Kane Chronicles) written by Rick Riordan (who wrote the Percy Jackson series) and read by 2 actors who were super good.

Only the second tangent (about audiobooks) was unintentional when I started this post. Typically my school dreams fall into three categories:

1) I'm trying to get to work on time, but I'm going to be late because I can't find the right clothes to wear or find my car or whatever, and then I'm definitely late and trying to call the main office to let them know, but for some reason I can't reach my phone or remember the number or whatever. I'm neurotic in general about timeliness, and even when I worked in non-school settings, my coworkers thought I was overly zealous about being punctual. So put me in a school setting where my every work minute must be accounted for, and being late is my absolute worst nightmare.

2) I'm not prepared with actual lessons and try to just "wing it". In these dreams, my students and I cope with my "winging it" rather well. They don't seem to care!

3) I'm trying to get the students' attention by screaming at the top of my lungs, but they can't hear me and/or don't care. In real life, classroom management is not an issue for me at our fairly tame suburban school. The small remedial classes that I've taught last 2 years present unique challenges - take a handful of students who hate school in general and reading and writing especially, make them take English Language Arts TWICE a day every other day, voila! I've done the most "screaming" when trying to supervise students moving to classes in the hallways and absolutely need to stop unsafe or otherwise intolerable behavior in its tracks. Our large school size (over 1300 students, 6th, 7th, and 8th grades) is mostly to blame for the chaotic halls, in my opinion.

I've had a few back-to-school dreams during the past few weeks. I think I've had each of the above 3 scenarios already, and last night it was #3. The setting was in an amusement park, and I was trying to scream out directions to students on a roller coaster ride.


Kathryn from Schoolmarm Style said...

My teacher dreams haven't started up yet, but they are so similar. Good luck this year.

only a movie said...

My teacher dreams are usually featuring extra large classes. I had one this morning... tomorrow is our first day w/ kids.

Happy New School year!