I never thought that teaching would feel like Freddy Krueger.
By which I mean: It’s infecting even my dreams!
Literally, though, I have been dreaming about school. This wouldn’t be strange except for the fact that I rarely ever remember my dreams. My mind keeps going back to it – or, should I say, forward to it, i.e. the upcoming school year. I have over two months before it comes and plenty else to occupy my thoughts (moving, selling a house, replacing vehicles and major appliances), but what do I think about?
I’m so bad about this at times that I actually checked my class rosters for next year (yes, I was able to get access to them – don’t judge me). Mostly good news from those at least regarding my junior and senior classes, who have been split along different lines and perhaps in more reasonable distributions. My sophomores, however, are really disparate: 15 in one and 7 in the other, with almost all of the challenging students* in the larger section. I doubt I will be able to change this, of course, so I’ll just have to prepare. It’s early in the day (if memory serves), and I already knew that I would need to come down very firmly on this class to ensure a good year. I have some cracks in the wall that is likely to be erected by this class, and I fully intend to exploit those weak spots where possible.
That sounds horrible – the rhetoric of exploitation – but I assuredly only mean it in a disciplinary sense. Otherwise, I want students to thrive, and I already have at least one incoming sophomore who said that she’s excited for my class (maybe because she has older siblings who I’ve taught this past year).
Best part, though: only 3 friggin’ preps. No more elective, no more single-shot classes. And they’re all classes I taught this past year, so I will have a great deal of material already prepared for what I will re-teach, even though I will definitely change a lot of things for this year. Most ambitious project: more research for all of the courses (well, except for seniors, who already have research in the curriculum).
I have a lot to think about…but for now, I think I’ll try to escape those thoughts, or at least put them on the backburner.
*Which, of course, I already know from having lunch duty last year. Even though I won’t have junior high lunch supervision this year, it will have introduced me to a fair number of students that I’ll get in the next few years, and I will be prepared for some of the difficult ones.