Today is day number 7 of a 12 day Christmas vacation that is passing entirely too fast! These are the days when I should be able to sleep until noon, sit around in my PJs, and drink hot chocolate by the fire. Well, for some wacked out reason, it’s just not happening.
Since vacation started, I force myself to go to bed later than my usual 10:00 crash. (I get up at 5:00…so going to bed early is a must if the kids want me to be awake during the day.) Then, I read trashy novels that keep my eyes open longer than the journals and other educational “sleep aid” books that line my bedside table. But still, when the light snaps off and I fall into that deep sleep during the first few hours…I dream! Not fun dreams of eating my fill at Old Country Buffet or playing dirty tricks on my friends or even traveling to the moon in those really cool space suits. No, these are stupid dreams, horrifying dreams of kids who never behave, disappear constantly, or just don’t listen. I always wake up in a panic, until I realize that, once again, it was just a dream. Then, with a much effort, I fall back to sleep, but the dream continues. And since I can’t stop them, I always try to add in little evil devices that make them more bearable: cattle prods, electric-shock chairs, tasers, etc… I picture myself standing in the front of the room dressed as a pirate wielding a sword…trying to gain control. I figure, it’s just a dream, so I might as well have it my way. But…it still NEVER works! The kids remain little, uncontrolable monsters!
Have I lost it? Is there a reason that I can’t keep myself focused on vacation instead of school? I have decided the answer to both of those questions is YES! (I have lost it, first of all! Most teachers have.) Secondly, there is a reason that my mind continues to wander back to school. It’s because I care too much! Teachers have a desire to want to do their best…and that one desire…or need, perhaps…brings about fear. Not fear of the kids, but fear of not being great!
So, the way I see it, go ahead…imagine those cattle prods and tasers…and even that long pirate sword, but when the dream is over…remember why you became a teacher, take a deep breath, and go out there and make a difference! There’s bound to be another vacation coming soon.
Mary the Phat/Fat Teacher