Does this happen to you? On the wake of something important you start to have insane dreams?
So I have always been a vivid, lucid dreamer. I can feel what is happening in my dreams and sometimes, when I am super stressed or excited about something, then those emotions become way too much and they come out in my dreams. Like I feel what is happening, and those emotions usually follow me into the next day because they were so real.
Little tiny fact: when I was in university, I would snag a few drags on a cigarette with my friends when we were out clubbing. Only a few puffs here and there and never a full cigarette. Anyway, so when exam time would roll around, I would dream that I was a smoker (because exams = stress = more dancing to get rid of stress = smoking = dreams) and then I would CRAVE cigarettes for at least a week or so after! Like hard core CRAVE THEM.
Anyway, it’s been a while since that has happened but as I have become a teacher, the last three years of late August dreams have been about school. This year, they are a little more intense because new city, new job, new students, new challenges.
I learned yesterday that I will have 8 students this year. So of course my dream last night had at least 30 in my classroom. We have two days of intro lessons next week, basically community building lessons and getting settled, no “teaching”, and my dream had an extra day so I wasn’t prepared. The dream was also set in the dead of winter. Like during a snow storm. On the first day of school? It’s going to be like 28 degrees next week on the first day of school LOL no where near snow weather! It was a crazy dream to say the least.
Speaking of yesterday, I was able to go to school and decorate my class. It had already been decorated in a way that was nice and ok, but it was not a GF classroom. Last summer I spent a week creating a full decoration package for my class and then having it printed and then laminating it and all that jazz. So when I arrived yesterday, I asked if I could take down some of the things that were already up and I was told that, yes, it’s my class, I can do whatever I want in it to make it my own. So I took down almost everything. And replaced it with all my hippo things. The only thing is that one of the workers at the therapy centre introduced me to one of the students as “Miss First Name” and it was lovely, but my desk already has my “Miss Last Name” banner up. It’s too late to change it so I think I will just keep it. And sometimes I just hear my name so many times during the day that when I get home I don’t want to hear it anymore, so having my first name being used by the kids at school would not be a good idea haha.
I also got to see my class list. Like I said, I have 8 students. 2 only come in the afternoon, 1 will only come in the morning. 3 students will have their own EA’s. 2 students have never been able to attend a proper school before so this will be their first school experience. There are 7 boys and 1 girl. Most are learning at a grade 1 level even though about half are technically in grade 2. One, who I met yesterday, is in grade 3 but learns at a grade 1ish almost 2 level. He is on the spectrum and his area of focused learning is a regular one, and he has already given me a name based on this focus. Which I promptly forgot because my mind was in a thousand other places. I’m sure he will remind me later. It starts with an S, I know that for sure.
The principal gave me a few other things that she thought that I would need, including a day planner binder but I have already purchased a planner and have filled it out. I want to create my own style for next year to have printed for myself, but this way I have her example to build off of and combine ideas with my own.
And, probable the BEST thing to come from yesterday was that I was talking to my principal about my long-range plans (LRP). I have felt really really paralyzed with them because I just didn’t know what was happening with students and grade levels. When I went for my tour almost 3 weeks ago, she said that Ontario has “combined graded” curriculums and to look at them for direction. So I did. What they did was find a common theme between the two grades and build off of that but they taught all the expectations for both grades. As a result, my LRP is a chart with 8 science units because each grade has to cover 4. But I did grade 1’s living things and grade 2’s animal growth at the same time because the themes and big ideas were similar and I could do a whole class lesson for the grade 1 stuff, then a mini-lesson to link the ideas only to grade 2 learners. Well, as you can imagine that’s a lot of work. BUT NOT ANYMORE!
So what I need to do is look at the curriculums and pick 4 units for science and if I get through 3 then it’s a successful year. For social studies, we were talking yesterday, and I decided to begin with a grade 2 unit on families and incorporate a little bit of grade 1’s “roles and responsibilities”, move into the grade 1 unit of local community members and their roles, and then finish the year off with a grade 2 unit on the global community. I can also smatter in some grade 2 “traditions” learning based around the holidays that will happen while we are in school. Based on that I can tie in some physical education lessons on personal safety (knowing your phone number) into that first unit on families and responsibilities. And music into the local and global community lessons. I am ALL about the cross-curricular links! Especially with these students because the more you reinforce a topic, the better they will understand.
This weekend I will be reworking my LRP and trying to get a few other things all ready for my class. I have a check-list that is beside my laptop that I just keep adding to in hopes that it gets all done haha.
One sad thing that I learned yesterday, was that the other new teacher had to quit. We did the tour together, and we learned that they might be making a 4th class which they had never done before. So I was the primary teacher (1/2/3), this other woman was the junior (4/5/6), and then there was intermediate (7/8). BUT NOW it’s split so just two grades per teacher.
This other woman has a mobility disability and used to teach high school. Unfortunately she didn’t realize the amount of actual movement required for an elementary teacher and she just could not do it. Even just in the classroom, but on top of that the recess supervisions, and we are on the second floor of a building, so there are issues going in and out with her class etc. So the teacher they were considering for the new class during the tour took the 3/4 class, he is a brand new teacher who was also in my dream last night even though I have never met him, and then they have someone else lined up for this newly created 5/6 class, again in my dream but I have never met her.
I am super happy about my class this year! I wish I could share pictures and videos for you, but for privacy reasons I can’t. Just imagine lots of cute hippos everywhere 😉 And I am hoping that now I have a sense of peace and a direction with planning, that the intense dreams will stop haha.