A dream.

Last night I had a dream.

It has been three weeks since the last school year ended.  I have been reading American History, to improve my ability to teach the subject. I have researched historical fiction to try to upgrade my classroom library, and I have spent hours reading fifth grade level stories based on the American Revolution and the Civil War.

Last night, I fell asleep thinking of the summer, and of my plans to go camping with family.  And I had a dream.

I dreamed that I had retired. That I had told my Principal that I would not be back. In my dream, I was happy about the decision, and happy to be heading into September with no demands on my time.  But as the dream went on, I slowly realized that this decision meant that I would no longer have a place in my classroom or in my school. In my dream, I begged for one more chance to teach.

And then the dream changed. I found myself in front of my class, ready to start the day.  As I looked out at the faces arranged around me, I realized, to my sorrow, that the children were not “my” kids.  In my dream, I started to cry. In my dream, I said, “You aren’t MY kids!  Go away!  You aren’t my students!” In my dream, I looked for Becky, and Jon and Leela. I searched for “my” kids in the crowd. In my dream, I was so upset by the absence of “my” children that I simply walked out the door and went home.

In reality, of course, I have started to get ready for a new set of “my” kids.  In reality, I don’t know any names, but I know that I will have the “pleaser”, the “challenger”, the “jock”, the “writer” the “rebel”. I know (because I really have done this before) that I will have the child who “doesn’t write” and the child who “hates math”.  I’ll have the one who wants my guidance on every decision, and the one who won’t care what I think about anything. I will have the comic, and the actor and the “well, actually” child.  I will have a group of children.  I will have kids who need more guidance, and kids who need less. Kids who need my love and approval, and kids who need my firm limits.

In reality, I will have a new community of learners.  I will have a new crop of kids to influence, and shape and teach and love.

And a year from now, I will learn to let them go, and I will dream of them, and think, in my dreams, “You can’t go away!  You are MY kids!”


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