I'm having back-to-school dreams already. What can I do to stop these nightmares?
A During the last week of term, I awoke at 4am one morning with a lesson plan for my PSHE lesson in my head which I used that following day, and it was excellent much better than the one I had planned. It is moments like this when you realise how all-encompassing teaching can be. Yet I have no such problems during the holiday: the summer holiday is being used to build a gravel driveway, practise my new hobby archery and relax on holiday in Somerset. Put your energy and time into something completely non-teaching. It works for me.
A I suspect you are not alone in this. I don't think anyone can "control" their dreams, but you can try to control the underlying anxieties that probably trigger them. It might be an idea to try to actually look forward to returning to school. I know this is counter-intuitive, but if you can fool your subconscious into anticipating the new school year in a positive way, then it just might work.
Mal, Ebbw Vale
A It is natural to have nightmares about school. Try to be prepared before the holidays so it is not preying on your mind. Do lots of different things over the summer that are non-teacher related: watch films, read, exercise, go on long walks or even try aromatherapy or reflexology to relax you.
A Many of us have these sorts of nightmares. The bad news is that they continue even after you leave teaching. The good news is that, once you accept this, you might as well learn to live with them. Excuse me for being nightmarish, but there is simply no escape.
A You must seriously consider if you are in the right job. Sit down and write a list of positives and negatives about your present job and set some clear objectives to address the negative issues. If these cannot be resolved within the next 12 months then find a job you will enjoy.
Q: At a colleague's retirement lunch, a teaching assistant asked me: "And when do you retire?" Were they being insensitive or am I being oversensitive? My response was: "Not until I'm 65". How would others reply?
Q: I've only taught reception and Year 1 classes, but next term I'm teaching Year 3 and I'm worried I won't be able to keep control. Has anyone got any tips on discipline?
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