I’ve been having nightmares about returning to the classroom. The more I read about best teaching practices, participate in voxer book clubs about education books, talk with friends about their classrooms, the more clear and severe my nightmares are. In the most recent one, I was picking up two children at a time (by their shirts? their hair?) and putting them onto an alphabet rug I had in a classroom 10 years ago. When I turned to pick up two more, I would see that the sitting children had escaped and were back to exploring with legos, the writing center, or in the class library. In my dream, this sequence repeated several times until suddenly I woke up and took a little bit to convince myself that 1) it’s just a dream 2) I can teach my students how to be responsible for themselves throughout the day and 3) it’s okay that I’ve been out of the classroom for over a year.
This past weekend I ran a 50 mile race. Looking back on it, I see that it’s a pretty long way to go in one day. (For the record I have friends who ran 100!) I didn’t have any nightmares about it and I guess that’s due to lots of training, preparation, and visualization. And so it goes with getting back into teaching. I have years of experience with amazing colleagues and leaders, a couple degrees in the field, and have been able to stay active in a couple professional learning communities via twitter and voxer. Even though I’m going to teach the only kindergarten class of the school, there are other teachers and staff at the school who can help me navigate the culture, policies, and the stairwells.
It might be a long way round from 3rd quarter at Smithridge (January – March 2015) to kinder at Lake Tahoe School (August 2016), but a positive attitude, growth mindset, and support all around will all help make this coming year great!