Failure Dreams

Each one is almost exactly the same. 

I’m back in college but not supposed to be there. At my current age, I wander around a campus I don’t know, enter a dorm without a roommate, and never attend a single class.

I’m most often at the plate when the pitcher blows fastballs by me from what seems like an arm’s length away. Sometimes I’m in the outfield, but I can never seem to make the catch. 

I’m back in the classroom and have totally lost control of the kids. No one is listening, the computer doesn’t work, and the noise is unbearable.

My failure dreams are perpetual, vivid, and haunting. 

But they’re only dreams. 

I’ve always maintained that were it not for education, I’d be in Psychology. Fascinated by how our minds work, the subconscious, and, obviously, dreams, I suspect I would have carved out a nice career built on curiosity and research. So I did the next best thing. 

I blended the two. 

This year our district embarked on a three-headed monster of vital and related issues: trauma informed care, restorative practices, and SEL. For me, it was like being traded from the Philadelphia Educators to the New Jersey Psychologists. Sure, I would play the same game but in a totally new league. And I couldn’t wait. 

Now, I can leave my bizarro world failure dreams on a subconscious shelf while I delve into the very real world of my students. 

Crippling anxiety without an identifiable antecedent. 

Just beneath the surface and difficult to prove abuse or neglect. 

Imbalanced group dynamics which always result in a party of one. 

Hormonal changes at a rate that is far too fast or far too slow. 

For these kids, there is no fit or start to wake them, no alarm clock to signal the end of a panicky, dark, unsafe dream. 

Theirs is a failure reality, one that demands our attention, our kindness, and our compassion. 

It’s time to wake up and help them. 

Level Up Leadership: Advance Your EduGame is available on Amazon.


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