Sorry for the length, but I didn't have time to write a short blog.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Dreams of teaching


I don't remember dreams as a general rule.  Even when I do, I don't recall details.  This is true, except for the fact that maybe once a week, I dream about teaching.  Always a struggle, but also always a joy as well.  I mean, I do not wake up terrified by the thought of again standing in front of the classroom. I also do not awaken saddened by the idea that I no longer do.  Still, I dream about teaching.  It was, after all, my life for over thirty years.

I recall a few dreams but have little idea about why they contain what they do.  Most commonly, I think I am back in my own classroom, and a few are about the politics involved in keeping programs alive, courses protected and classroom numbers up or down. One recent dream was truly odd. I was teaching at a charter school, but it was more than what a charter school should be.  It was really more like a camp.  A series of cabins in the woods and I was both the new teacher and the only one of the six or so staff members who had real teaching experience.  It was truly odd.  I recall one of my fellow members sitting behind a desk, his cabin empty, and bare rough hewed planks making up the walls.  I was looking for my own classroom.  He knew where that was and sent me off into the forest.  Along the path I followed, I would pass students on their way to various places but I had the feeling that no one actually knew where the students were.

I awoke.

Actually quite vivid.  I am not one who analyzes dreams.  The searching for my classroom, my place, was obvious enough.  Aren't we all searching, even at my age, for our place in the world.  The dream was not a nightmare, but just a search.  Dreaming about this in the context of teaching is to be expected.  It is what occurred to me after I awoke.

For several months, since I retired after I awake from dreaming about teaching, I would wonder at what point I would quit dreaming about teaching.  I wondered how long teaching would continue to be the context of my subconscious life.  I wondered when other teachers leave teaching how long it was before they stopped dreaming these dreams.

And then it hit me.

What does it mean when I stop dreaming about teaching?  Will it mean I've found a new place?  Will it mean that I've lost the context of the life I built as a teacher?  Have I moved on or have I given up?  The loss of these dreams are a bit disconcerting.

Even retired, it is still one of the defining features of my life. In no small part, my blogs have given me an outlet to discuss events and thoughts, to use what we used to call teachable moments. The only difference is now I do not have to monitor my own beliefs as I would in the classroom.

Still --

I dream of teaching...