This morning, when I arrived at work, I was surprised to see a small post-it note on one of the library books (A 5-novel Agatha Christie omnibus) I’d left behind on my desk last Friday. It said something in these terms: “You know you won’t be able to finish that, because you never stay behind late at work…”. I immediately thought of two of my colleagues who sit just next to me; only they would be capable of such a joke. These two colleagues nearly always stay back after work to complete any corrections or preparations, especially since they don’t live far from the school. I, on the other hand, always rush to catch the school bus, an experience that requires its own individual entry, methinks.
The note actually made me smile, though my first reaction tended towards paranoia.
This was because of the (still) unknown person who (last week) opened the pack of new exercise books that I’d kept under my desk and which I’d been planning to give to the Form 4 students.
Since then, I’m very careful about leaving my stuff, even basic stuff like pens and pencils or clips or my stapler on my desk.
Anyway, I wait for my colleague to arrive and I ask the question and it is indeed she along with the other colleague who wrote that mischievous message. i was smiling when I asked my question. I treated it as a joke, which was what it was. But later on, when the other colleague arrived, the first one talked about how I’d seen the note and she says to the other one, “he doesn’t think much of us now, does he?”, and turning to me, she says, “you don’t think much of us now”. And while I protested gently that this was not the case, I see the second one’s face taking this very serious and introspective look.
As if I really would think so about them.
Anyway, today we ended a bit late, because we had a faculty meeting (“What’s a faculty?”, I always ask, and one of my colleagues replies, “Oh, some fancy American term to refer to the staff!”). We had a departmental meeting last Monday, and I admit that while they have some relevance in the grand scheme of the school, I fail to see how they have improved or significantly affected our personal work, sur le terrain.
This reminds me that someone is coming to two of my classes tomorrow as a formal observer. I have stopped thinking about how my class will behave in such a condition.Will discipline work tomorrow? We’ll see.
I was furious this morning when I found one of the posters I’d stuck one the walls of my class torn and thrown on the floor. For a few minutes, I paced the room, trying to find signs of a culprit, but obviously, this being a school, it could be anyone. And the thing with that classroom is that it isn’t my permanent classroom.
It wasn’t even MY poster, it was one made by a student for one of my classes; it was part of his research work. How is he going to feel, seeing the results of so much hard work dissolved into a mass of crumpled and torn bristol paper? He had felt so proud, last Friday, when he had helped me stick it up on the wall.
More than once, I’ve noticed the lack of respect that these students have towards their school building. There is a lot that can be done to change that to some extent. I will do my best. My youth initially played against me somewhat, and some of the older students had difficulty seeing me as a proper figure of authority, but it’s changing. They have noticed.
This is good.