Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Teaching Anxiety Dreams

I hope it’s just a matter of my subconscious burning off some worries in time for the New Year, but I’ve been having bad teacher dreams all week. Either I’m late and unable to find the number to call in, or the kids keep getting louder and louder, and no way to simmer them down, even on Movie Day. All the time, my ex-boss is in the background getting sharper and sharper-voiced and judging my every move. This morning’s dream ended with my voice being drowned out by 40 kids as I mimed at them helplessly to put their heads down.

That isn’t what my current job is like at all. I almost always feel calm, supported, and productive. But I still do have mixed feelings about working towards being a school day teacher. I’m afraid that it’s be nothing but stress, that I’ll never know how to mange a classroom.

I also worry that I might have to give up all of my writing dreams-having a day job that I care about has already changed my poet schedule so much, and things are only going to get more demanding.

Last Fall and Winter, I wanted to prove that I was worth something. I also wanted to do something with this mountain of frustrated ambition. The urge for my own classroom came partly out of a craving for order, for safety, for a place where I’d be able to follow my conscience as a teacher.

Though I’m now one math class closer to the goal (Just checked: I GOT A B!) I’m still not sure it’s the right one. I don’t know if teaching is the right thing for me to do, but I also don’t know if one gets to worry about what one’s “Meant to Do” at 36.

I had lunch today with a favorite student and her also-a-favorite student mom. It reminded me about the nine thousand poems that little girl wrote over the summer, about that unequivocal win. So there’s that. Plus, we played Scrabble.


  1. Hey lady, since you're asking for advice, I'm gonna give it to you. recently I found out that (thank goodness after all this schooling) I like teaching. Part of that is that I like to give advice. haha! Well I think you don't have to worry about liking teaching, because you are doing it right now! But you're right, every context is different. I think getting a certificate is always good because it makes you more marketable, and if you try teaching during the day and you don't like it, you can always go back to an after school program. Don't forget for writing - you have all summer! Even though you'll be very busy during the school year, you will have all summer to write intensively if you want!ok well that's my $10. (more than 2 cents)

  2. Oh Jane, I feel for you. Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever feel content with my work and stop hoping for the stroke of genius that will carry me away from all this. You are wonderful and you will find your own style of classroom management. The fact that you are willing to share your unique dose of optimism and energy with children is beyond amazing and my guess is that if teaching in the classroom doesn't fit you like some cozy toe socks you'll learn from it and move on. I think you still have plenty of time to discover what you're meant to do in the "work" world. You bring happiness to people on a daily basis and this seems like it should be enough in terms of what "you're meant to do". Marrying the occupational "meant to do" with the "who you are" would probably do the trick. If only awesomeness paid the bills, eh?

  3. Aw thanks so much ladies! Very heartening!