Roxanna EldenI’m a believer that images from a night’s sleep can provide insight into daytime thoughts, so it’s always been interesting to me that so many teachers report having similar dreams — or, in many cases, similar nightmares.

With the help of my yellowed copy of Tony Crisp’s Dream Dictionary and conversations with a few colleagues, I’ve prepared a completely unscientific, nonresearch-based guide to images from common teacher nightmares. Don’t be surprised if you recognize some of the scenarios below.

You show up to work in a bathrobe/your pajamas/the clothes you went out in last night.
Teachers usually report having this dream not only in August, but a few nights before the end of any break. According to the Dream Dictionary, being undressed in a dream represents vulnerability and the fear that one’s weaknesses are exposed. Ragged or inappropriate clothes can represent feelings of inadequacy. Both of these relate to the fear that you are unprepared. Whatever you are — or aren’t — wearing in this type of dream, it’s probably your inner teacher clock saying, “Hey, start thinking about whether you’re ready for your first day back!”

A group of students shows up at your house, sometimes coming inside to help themselves to bowls of cereal from your kitchen cabinets …

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