Sufferance

Monday 26 May, 2014:

Back at work – but it’s under sufferance. I already feel like a substitute teacher, in a way. Not even that. I’m not a teacher, I can tell you that for free.

 

9 Social are the loveliest class of the day. They kind of cling to me as they come in. I feel guilty, knowing I’m just weeks away from leaving them.

“The reliever was alright… but I missed you, Miss,” Aidan tells me.

“I didn’t like any of the relievers,” Obey says. He hops up and sits at my desk for the entire class. No-one’s done that for a long time… ohh, not since the Slade and Zion days.

I feel guilty alright. But liking a class isn’t the same thing as being settled with school. And I’m less and less settled than ever.

 

As for the faculty staff, it’s just the usual polite exchanges: “Hello.”, “How are you?” “Hope you’re feeling better.” I’m very much unmoved by this aspect of the day..

 

Tuesday 27 May:

Work goes alright today – in a not-alright kind of way. I’m becoming aware of my patterns, and trying to break them up as much as possible. I’m deliberately starting to shake loose of things. I haven’t done up my whiteboard for two days (and counting), and I’ve already started to chuck stuff in the big bin upstairs: paperwork I don’t need. I’m going to get a lot of sorting out done, even before I give notice.

By the time I leave, I just want to be able to stroll on out, pretty much. Hand in my keys and the laptop –  making sure I’ve copied everything I need off the hard drive, and removed my dropbox folder.

Until then, I just want to streamline everything, tick the boxes that need ticking; quietly not participate in the things I don’t want to do. I didn’t go to the Learning Team meeting this morning.

 

The year 12 girls are in a flurry to draw me aside today; eager to confirm their hopes that I’m pregnant (this is why I’ve been off school – or so they’ve heard – God knows how that rumor started) They’re disappointed to learn otherwise.

“Did you have a bad flu, Miss?” they try next; it’s an assumption which I readily assent to.

“Yes, a very bad flu.”

“Ohh, poor Miiissss,” they coo.

 

Wednesday 28 May:

Again, school goes ok today. But I’m never going to try those tricks again. The things I could do, and once would do, to find freedom within this particular set of constraints. Those days have gone.

A time a place… and the whole constellation of circumstances has shifted, drawing me even further away from MC. I saw it coming years ago, things were already taking me outward, though I didn’t know then where they might lead.

I get home and Sheree’s there, which puts me on edge slightly – I keep telling myself it’s ok, I don’t have to handle it any particular way.

 

Thursday 29 May:

At work, the minute I sit down, my arm starts to ache. This seems – in my not very expert opinion – to be psychosomatic.

It doesn’t matter if I’m prepared for the day at school or not (and I almost always am; that’s never been the real issue), because my mind’s always twisting away from the very idea. It scratches me, incessantly, no matter where I am. And yet I managed to leap for the switch and shut everything down for a while, last week. It was like a reprieve from torture.

The only thing that’s ever really helped me bear it is to have my allies here  – and how different it feels now, without anyone who really knows me that way.

 

Even so, 9 Social are such a nice class – once again I feel a bit guilty for hating school as much as I do. Because they’re so sweet, and they do kind of ‘get’ me – and then for a little while there’s not that same crisis feeling in my mind and heart.

But once I head upstairs and start getting things ready for tomorrow, I can feel myself twisting away from the expectations again.

 

Friday 30 May:

Ha, what can I cut from work today? I’ve already stopped doing the whiteboard configuration, and I didn’t go to the Learning Team meeting on Tuesday – and today, I’ll definitely miss the tutor teacher ‘catch up’.

 

9 Social are super sweet again. Not that I enjoy ‘teaching’ anybody anything. But I like them, I really do.

“Miss, you’re not a growling teacher,” says Aidan, with an amount of satisfaction.

“Only with some people,” puts in Obey, sagely, which makes me laugh

Obey, finishing his work early, just ‘collects’ a graff book from my table, where he’s sussed out that it lives. I don’t see him get it or anything, but next minute he’s poring over it, pencil and paper at the ready.

I look at him, summing up the situation.

“I’ve finished, Miss,” he tells me. “My work’s on your table.”

“So you just thought you’d do a bombing instead…” I say, but with a feeling of congruence.

“Ye-es,” he admits, kind of hoping for the best. He looks at me, waiting to see what I’m going to do.

“Alright,” I say, but softly (so as not to draw the kind of attention that will make the whole class goof off immediately.) “Fair enough then.”

And he returns to his drawing with the instant and rapt concentration that reminds me of Inia.

 

12 History, last class of the day, are so biddable and sweet, and so well-disposed towards me. I feel like crap for not caring about the ‘learning’. The feeling subdues me more and more as the lesson goes on. Don’t they deserve better?, I ask myself. A ‘real teacher’; Shakira, for instance.

I don’t want to be a real teacher though. More than that – it’s straight impossible.

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