I’ve had a good run. Aside from the last period of Friday last week, my last two weeks have been good. It’s still difficult and exhausting, but I’m still surviving!
I am still coming to terms with the significance of this new chapter in my life, and last Thursday hammered this home. We had an Open Evening, where children from Year 6 and their parents tour the school prior to deciding where to go for Year 7. We teachers were expected to stay there and represent our departments, and so I ended up not getting home until around 9:30. In the hours between the end of the school day and the start of the event, I was hanging around in the staff room and my room, marking and otherwise marking time. And it occurred to me that I was actually a teacher.
Yes, I’ve been a teacher for a while now—at least on paper, and perhaps even in practice. But it still hadn’t sunk in. With these events in the past, even if I were there helping out as a student, I was still a student. I wasn’t privy to the behind the scenes featurettes in the staff room. That evening emphasized how much I am on the other side of the looking glass now (and how I will always be on that side).
This is part of a larger paradigm shift in my life. I’m living on my own (far away from home). I’m responsible entirely for my life in a way I never was before. This is a little scary—and a lot of work!—but it’s also cool. Today I went to Norwich for Thanksgiving dinner with some other Canadian teachers. One of them, Jon, made chicken (we couldn’t find a turkey), stuffing, etc. Josie couldn’t find pumpkin for pumpkin pie, but she used squash instead. We improvised a Thanksgiving dinner. The ingredients might not have been pure, but it’s the thought that counts. I ate it off a pink paper party plate that said, “Princess” and thought: this is my life; I’m an adult now and I eat Thanksgiving my way.
I had to leave immediately after eating to catch a train back to Bury, so I could not stay as long as I would have liked. Still, I’m glad I went, no matter how brief my visit was. It was worth getting out of the house to share some time with people who share my background as well as the experience we’re going through at the moment. I’m not certain what I’m doing come half-term, or even next weekend. But this was a nice way to mark the end of one week and the beginning of the next.