This is a weird time of year to be an educator outside her usual school system. Today is August 20th. My whole life, school has started on or around August 20th. Late August... even though I'm not at home, mentally this is still "official Back to School season" to me. I can imagine it now: rows and rows of brand-new school supplies lining the aisles of Target, department stores advertising hoodies, jeans, and boots even though the weather outside is still in the high 90's, football teams sweating their faces off in outdoor summer practice camps right before school starts, and teachers, oh teachers, you're all preparing your classrooms and lessons for the students.
I've been facebook stalking all of you, of course.
Last week I had a dream that I was somehow back in Texas and got a job the day that school began. I'd be teaching 9th, 10th, and 11th grades: World Geography, World History, and US History! Wishful thinking? Perhaps. Anyway, in my dream, I had students, but no classroom. Finally I got my classroom, but it was not prepared. Think of those empty classrooms in a state of disuse, with desks stacked up on each other, and that's the kind of classroom I received. My students had to wait in the hall while I ran around looking for butcher paper and books to somehow throw together a classroom and a Day 1 lesson for a day's worth of classes... and then I woke up.
Funny how that works. Part of me really does envy my friends at home who have "real" teaching jobs right now, even though I chose this expat life, this job, this status. I chose to go on a grand adventure and live overseas, rather than settle down into a normal teaching job just yet. I wouldn't trade this year for anything! But as I dreamt about my own classroom with my own students and no co-teachers, it was kinda nice. It's nice to know that next August, I might probably have that. And if I could teach 3 subjects, like I did during my student teaching, I'd do it in a heartbeat, especially those three in my dream! Good to know that I'm in the right profession.
Ironically, it's not the main Back to School season in Korea (cause this school system mostly starts in March and ends in February), but the aisles at Lotte Mart were still stocked with brand-new school supplies today. I am such a sucker for them... Sharp new pencils and crayons, mint-condition notebooks (with random English phrases, of course), hilighters, markers, pencil bags, all of it! Be still my heart!
Good luck to all of you teachers out there getting ready for your new students. My prayers are with you this week, my friends!