Following up: A teacher’s nighmares

I have recurring nightmares about teaching.  Even though I retired from teaching six years ago, they still haunt me.  No one gets hurt in those nightmares and there’s little gore.   I dream about the worst situations I could ever have as a teacher:  hundreds of students meeting in a tiny cabin with no books or material.  I always arrive late because I can’t find the place.   And sometimes I’m wearing the wrong kind of underwear:  bright green under a white shirt. 

Oddly, the students are terrific.  Not a discipline problem in sight. 

The administrators who stop by never notice the crowds or the lack of material, and always ignore what I say–not always true in my real life of teaching but often enough that it comes up in the bad dreams.  Oh, and the administrators always  make note of that inappropriate underwear. 

Recently, I realized I have the nightmares when I’m under stress.  With the most important novel in my career releasing in two weeks and all the promo I’m doing and edits for the second book at the same time I’m attempting to write the third book in the series–well, yes, I’m feeling pressure.  At least I understand why they pop up.

What I wonder is this: 

 1)   Do some of you teachers have this kind of dream?  I have a good friend who doesn’t.  Obviously Martha is much more balanced than I.

2)    Do people in other professions have bad dreams?  Do fire fighters dream of burning buildings?   Are nurses surrounded by dozens of patients shoutng for medication? 

I’d really love to know.  If you don’t have nightmares about your job, what does bother you in your sleep?   Or, what kind of bad dream might you have?

4 thoughts on “Following up: A teacher’s nighmares

  1. I dream that my teeth are falling out when I’m stressed. Am I a dentist? No, I am a magazine editor. : ) The weird thing is, I looked that up in a dream dictionary, and it said that this is actually a common stress dream. The other weird thing is, I always really think my teeth have actually fallen out when I wake up, and it takes me awhile to realize they’re there and they’re not massively loose.

    1. Tracy–thanks for writing this! I think that’s even odder than my dreams. At least we know our dreams mean we should cut down on pressure. Maybe my next blog should on, “How do we relieve stress? But I don’t have any answers.

  2. Jane, I love this as a follow on to your previous post. Thank you for the response to my overlong comment on that one(I got carried away:-)) It was a great post and you really hit a spot judging by the number of comments you received. It is such a big topic and one without a solution.

    I’m not surprised teachers dream a lot. I know my teacher daughter talks in her sleep when she is stressed. For me, one of the biggest benefits from retiring from my day job is that I now dream a lot less, even when I am writing!!

  3. Thanks for checking back in, Sheila! Please give your daughter a big hug–teaching is a lot harder now than when I began. I hope someday I can stop dreaming! And I really appreciated your earlier post on education reform.

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