This was a dream I had a few nights ago. I was teaching a college class in sociology that included arcane symbols and complex mathematical formulas. I did not understand the material, how the tests were generated, or the schedule for the class. I would arrive late, and my students would be there hard at work studying. They were quite successful at learning the material. I was getting nothing but praise from everyone, and yet I knew I was doing nothing to deserve it. I felt useless, but I needed the job.
Is this a dream about the strange part of education that if you teach students to learn they will not need teachers, or is it that I often feel like I am often unsure about what to teach in early childhood and what to let the children learn on their own. I think that what I do to make them successful is to change the environment enough that they respond to it, but not so much that it freaks them out. That and just be a consistent presence who provides language and helps them pursue ideas until they change into new ideas or run up against what is possible in our environment. Maybe the arcane symbols and mathematical equations are just representing the thought processes of preschoolers. I am there to sort through them and try to decipher them enough to know which direction they are headed. I will never be responsible for the tests (Life and children make those up on their own). I think the whole idea about being late and the crazy schedule is just my minds rebellion against institutional rigidity. I have always felt that schedules were meant to be flexible whenever possible. It seems like there is this part of my brain that is constantly trying to manage everything when it gets put in these regulated and careful situations (right now we are in the middle of preparing for a visit from licensing). When it cannot keep all the little ducky thoughts in a row, it freaks out and gives me one of these dreams. Maybe I just have to convince my duck manager that just because there are a few pink and purple ducks, and they stagger in and out of line, its alright as long as they all find there way home at the end of a long crazy day.
Or maybe my mind just likes to put me in situations that I find uncomfortable. Maybe there is a sadistic part of my mind that gets a kick out of making me live in a Kafka novel for however long it takes to dream a semester of college teaching life.