Teacher Nightmare

I had a very realistic teacher nightmare last night. Not realistic in the sense that it could happen to me. But realistic in the sense that it was one of those vivid dreams where you feel emotion when having it.

The day of the final comes and it is in a strange building for some reason. Before the exam, I am on the phone with my mother talking about something important. Taxes, maybe. Then as the final exam hour approaches, I take my leave from my mother and go to the classroom and see my children milling about. I look for the exams but they are not in my bag.


I forgot to photocopy them!

I start getting really flustered. Really flustered. This was a dream where I felt emotion, and I was literally freaking out. This is so unlike me. [1] I don’t know what to do. So I open my computer to print out a copy, and realized I never finished writing the exam.

I didn’t even have an exam!

What’s on my computer is a document with a test that I got from somewhere, but I meant to modify to fit my class and I didn’t. I couldn’t give that to my class. I look at last year’s final, and it covers totally different material for some reason.

I go to this teacher’s lounge, literally paralyzed because I don’t know what to do. I’m frantically seeing if I have time to fix up the final, but I realize I don’t. I keep thinking about my kids in the classroom wondering what’s going on. I keep trying to figure out what to do. But my mind is stuck at this point and isn’t working. I’m mentally paralyzed, stuck in my own special world of freak-out.

I continue to frantically try to fix things, but I can’t. Basically, this goes on for two hours. (The exam is supposed to last three hours.) I don’t go back to the classroom. I don’t even know if they’re waiting there.

That’s where I leave off the dream, and enter in the waking world. I was unprepared, and a terrible teacher, who just decided to burrow in a hole and hide because he couldn’t effectively deal with this challenge.


Update: The next night I had another teacher nightmare. I was covering class for another teacher, and students were supposed to be taking a test. They weren’t being totally silent, so I made the edict “The next person who talks will get a 0 on their test.” And someone talked. And so I took their test and told them they had a 0. Then other kids were complaining about that, so I took their tests. And it became this horrible battle of wills, with the frustration level of both me and the kids rising quickly. Blah. I don’t have this problem. I’m not (consciously, anyway) scared of having this problem. Why am I dreaming about it?

[1] In real life, I always have everything taken care of — jots and tittles and all. I never go to bed without all my work done.



  1. If your footnote is written in a completely honest, non-sarcastic tone, KUDOS to you! I think this dream is the teacher-version of the popular college nightmare where you either (a) miss the final in one of the most important classes you’re taking or (b) have to take a final in a course that you didn’t even know you were enrolled in, therefore you have missed every class.
    You can do it this week! It’s almost over.

    1. Footnote is honest. I don’t like to *wing* it. (It’s also not fair to the kids. We tell them to come to class prepared everyday. So I tell them that I too will honor that and come to class prepared.)

      1. I don’t like to “wing it” either, and I can say I’m nearly always 100% prepared for class, but I can’t, however, say all my work is done before bed each day. I use planning time the day of more often than I would like. And I frequently find errors in my own work….something to work on I suppose.

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