Have you ever had a dream that was so good, you made yourself doze a little longer to see the ending? Better yet, have you had a dream where you actually took control and made the dream go where you wanted it to? I had one of those dreams the other day. It gets sweeter with each retelling, so I thought I’d share it with you.
Let me set the scene. I was called upon to be a substitute teacher in a small private school. I approached the front desk to receive my assignment. When I looked at the fat binder from the regular teacher, I was a bit surprised. “Tenth grade Literature.” I’m only 31, and they want me to be in charge of 16 year olds? Well, at least the class only had 6 students, remember, small private school.
As I stood in front of those scary teenagers, faced with teaching Romeo and Juliet, I decided to stick with what I know. I asked one student to tell me what had happened in the story during their last class. (Many of you will recognize this highly scientific technique as narration.) The student gave me two sentences, barely distinguishable from garble.
“Young man,” I began, “my eight year old can tell back a story better than that. Now stand up and try again.”
This time, he stood up and managed to give me a decent oral paragraph.
“Now, that was better. Do you realize that if you could tell back the story that good every time, you’d never need to take a test?”
“Yes, you just showed that you mastered the material, and that’s the goal.”
A murmur ran through the room. “Who is she?”
I replied, “I’m a home school mom,” with a tone that struck fear and awe in the listeners. “I teach preschool, kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade all at the same time, with a toddler crawling under the table.”
From that moment on, the classroom was mine. So I took full opportunity to tell them a different side of the Romeo and Juliet story.
For example, there was not a wise person in the story. The grownups are all feuding with each other. The teenagers are allowed to go places emotionally that they are not prepared for. Grownups that did know what was going on simply enabled the foolish teenagers. The whole mess ended up with two people dead. But then the families got along, many say. Well, why didn’t they get along before their kids ended up dead? All in all, I’d say it’s a beautiful picture of idiocy.
Well, anyway, I digress. It was a very enjoyable dream. I said all that to say, If you ever lack confidence in your job as a teacher, step back, take a deep breath, put your hands on your hips and say, “I’m a home school mom.” You are doing exactly what you were designed by Yah to do. You are good at it, and your children are thankful that you do it.
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