Back-to-School Teacher Dreams in Adequate Yearly Progress: A Novel

Wobbly picture of school lockers

I’ve always been interested in the dreams so many teachers seem to have at the end of a school vacation—so much so that I’ve written this post interpreting “The Bathrobe Dream” and Other Common Teacher Nightmares.

Maybe it’s no surprise, then, that there’s a passage that describes these dreams in Adequate Yearly Progress, It’s at the end of a chapter that takes place over winter break, The Cross-Disciplinary Compare-and-Contrast Holiday Review Packet.

For those of you looking for reading material as your own break comes to a close, here it is. Extra credit if you can find a few compare-and-contrast keywords embedded in these three paragraphs.

On the last night of a break, teachers often reported similar dreams. Common themes included showing up to school in pajamas or bathrobes, waking up late, or completely forgetting how to get to the school, taking a string of wrong turns in unfamiliar terrain.

Another shared nightmare involved schedule changes. In these, teachers learned they’d be teaching classes of several hundred students in enormous, irregularly-shaped rooms, or on open fields where even the loudest of voices would be lost in the wind. In time, they would all settle back into their familiar routines. Their shared dread would recede as they realized they had not, in fact, forgotten how to teach over vacation. Still, on that last night they would all sleep fitfully, checking their clocks in panic and twisting their sheets into ropes. Most would wake the next morning in similar states of crankiness, powering through the day on coffee and adrenaline.

Hernan, on the other hand, experienced exactly the opposite. Unlike his colleagues, he slept soundly and woke the next morning remembering no dreams at all.

Best wishes for the upcoming days of the school year! May your nightmares fade, and all your best dreams come true.

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