So as the weeks tick by at an alarmingly fast speed, I find myself wishing that I have Bernard’s Watch to pause time and let it stand still, just for a while (note: if you do not know what Bernard’s Watch is, you’re missing out.) I feel funny at the moment about how quickly time is moving, I don’t know if I’m ready for September yet, both physically and mentally.
But I suppose I cannot stop the inevitable, the start of term will roll around very soon and I need to get my head back in gear. I don’t know if anyone else finds it, but I panic that I am going to forget how to teach. Like, I am going to walk into the classroom and simply have no clue what to do. Which is ridiculous of course, I only stopped a few weeks ago, my memory and abilities have not been erased from my mind. So why the panic?
I think the panic is a build up of several things. Your body relaxes, lets down it’s guard and goes back to being ‘you’ and not ‘Miss/Sir’.
Secondly, 6 weeks is a long old holiday – things change. I remember being a student, and the Summer holidays were the longest, most amazing 6 weeks ever. People grew taller, they got haircuts, their voices broke, they had new uniform, new pencil cases, and probably, a new bag too. Basically, by the time that kids returned to school in September, they were way cooler than they had been in July, and way older. So, I for one, am intrigued to see whether this still happens to them, but this time, from a teacher’s perspective. Or whether when they slump through the classroom doors in September, they will look and act exactly the same as they did back in July.
Thirdly, I think the panic of teaching comes into place when you least expect it. I currently wake up in the morning, and will have had a nightmare about standing up in front of the room and not being able to speak, or opening my mouth and no sound coming out, or worse still – I have a total nightmare where I am completely useless.
In this recurring nightmare, I am a trainee teacher on my first week of placement, and the teacher leaves the room and consequently, leaves me in charge. I have no idea of their names, nor the lesson plan, or even what topic they are working on. I also have no experience of teaching. It is terrifying, gives me knots in my stomach and I wake up in a cold sweat. But ironically, it is all just a dream.
Dreams however, even though they are fictional and out of your control, do start to sow tiny seeds of doubt into your mind. What if that really does happen? And what if when I return to school, I have genuinely forgotten how to teach?
Stop being stupid, I tell myself.
One challenge that does face me in my year ahead though, is doing this whole teaching malarky on my own.
Something which I absolutely cannot wait for, but also something that makes my palms sweat and my face flush. Will I still be a good teacher without anyone else in the room? I can only hope so. Will I like my new classes? I expect so. Will people still treat me like a trainee? Hopefully not.
I am determined to do well, and am excited at the prospect of being able to lay down my own rules in September, and not have to pick up a class part of the way through the year, from a teacher whose style is totally different to my own. But of course, there is always going to be that niggling seed of doubt in the back of your mind.
Does anyone else have the back-to-school panic or is it just me?