#432: Teaching Nightmares (a poem on April 25, 2022)

You would think
that after 33 years
of classroom teaching,
one would cease to
have nightmares
about teaching.
You would be
wrong to think that.
Sometimes they come
randomly here and there,
once or twice a year,
and mostly they’re easy
to shake off. But sometimes
they come, spawned,
one imagines, by a real-life
classroom nightmare
that becomes obsessive,
on which the educator-brain
becomes stuck,
as in a loop. And then one
dreams of mass insurrections,
students in danger,
good kids acting badly,
bad kids acting nicely,
the naked dream, or worse,
the dream in which nothing
works the way it should
or nothing goes the way
it was planned,
a dream in which one
appears absolutely and truly
incompetent. The weekend,
of all things, gets punctuated
by these nightmares,
a whole Saturday and Sunday
of stressing out about
a work-related thing,
which on Monday morning
turns out to be far less
of a thing than you
thought it was.
That weekend right there,
the one you lost to
fretting and brow furrowing
and fright night fears:
You will never get it back.

Published by michaeljarmer

I'm a public high school English teacher, fiction writer, poet, and musician in Portland, Oregon

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