Last night it began.
The school anxiety dreams.
Nothing terrible, mind you. Just this realization that break is winding down and there are things I have to prepare for the first week back that I haven’t done yet. At 1:05 AM I was lying awake, making that mental list in my head.
For the last two weeks I have been able to think about school in the abstract. I spent the Friday after Christmas making my lesson for the first day back, and I made an outline for the project I’ll be introducing. The actual documents I need have yet to be created. Today and tomorrow I have plans with friends, so I need to think of how I will fit in this preparation anyway, because a) I hate doing these things on the very last day of break, and b) I will feel a whole lot better when Monday comes if what I have to copy is ready to go.
I fell back asleep, and then I had this dream.
I was working in my classroom, and had a walk-through by my assistant principal — who happened to be James Gandolfini. He gave me a glowing review.
The next day I somehow heard that they were going to be laying off some teachers for some reason. I volunteered right then to leave. I said I could quit and let someone else keep his/her job. I left, feeling a bit unhappy that I could not finish teaching a novel I was teaching, but oh well. Went home and told my husband I had quit. He didn’t seem too upset. But it was a super strange feeling — to suddenly be out of a job. I didn’t know what I was going to do with myself, and started questioning why I did it.
That’s when James Gandolfini showed up at my door, raging at me for leaving when I was one of the best damn teachers they have. I just shrugged. He went away.
The question today — what do I need to love next? I need to love my time off, but I also need to love my profession and its seasons. Without it, I would be bored out of my mind. I like making plans, I like reaching students, and I have no intention of randomly walking out. A little anxiety is good for me. Keeps me sharp. Walking back in prepared makes me a better teacher. This is all good. I do love it — just gets easy to forget when lulled by time to myself, those long stretches of time just for me.
Before writing this, I searched YouTube for a James Gandolfini video and found this gem. It is a must watch as part of this blog today. Enjoy.