13 September 2008

A room without a view: Or I wonder what accountants dream of?

If I had stopped to think about it, I would have realized that I was overdue for a teacher dream. Although I went the whole summer without one, I woke up this morning, my first weekend after my first full week of school, straight from the throes of a fairly typical teacher dream.

My retired friend Gary was back teaching English, and he was telling me quite enthusiastically about his plans to begin the year with Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. We discussed this for a few minutes, and when he disappeared to teach his class, I decided to find my class. At this point, this turned into one of my more typical teacher dreams where I'm supposed to be somewhere but I either don't know it or can't find it. This time, I couldn't find my room.

I spent most of my dream wandering around a huge building filled with people that looked like a cross between my former school and my current school. I kept running into people I knew who seemed to know where they should be. I kept waiting to hear the dreaded, "Mrs. Huth, please report to your class" over the PA system.

In my dream, my room was AB21, a computer lab that is actually across from my real classroom, AB16. I felt frustrated that I couldn't find my familiar room in this familiar building so finally, I asked someone where my room was. The person I chose was a former department chair, infamous for her enthusiasm and optimism. She stood in the center of a beautiful room beneath a skylight and in front of a bank of floor-to-ceiling windows. The light streamed in, and I remember thinking that my room, the room I was looking for, was somewhat like hers.

When I told her that I couldn't find my room she smirked at me and told me my room was #3 Crosswoods. She added that that was where they put teachers who would teach eight classes in a row. I asked, Who in the world would do that? She said that they didn't know they were teaching eight classes in a row because they couldn't tell what time of day it was.

I eventually gathered, from random responses from those standing nearby, that while I was teaching my morning classes somewhere else, all my colleagues had met to choose their classrooms. Because I was the only teacher who hadn't chosen, they gave me the room no one else wanted.

I remember feeling vaguely unhappy as I mulled my room situation for the next year. I pictured a small, dark room with no windows. How else could those teaching in the room not be able to tell what time of day it was? Nevertheless, I also remember thinking, Oh well, at least I like my kids. They'll make the lousy classroom seem better.

And then I woke up. Hmmmm.

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