Tuesday, 6 October 2015
I reckon all too often teaching is a thankless task.
You front up each day and try your best to get through the set work with as much joy and discipline as you can manage, all the while agonising about keeping the kids' histories in mind and making as sure as you can that they are all OK, well fed and loved at least a little.
Yeh yeh yeh, people bang on about the holidays and the short hours and I am not at all interested in defending that part of the job, except to say that if I had a dollar for every day I worked from 9 to 3, well I'd be fucking living on the streets with Dog and a plastic cup for begged change.
Each year there'd be at least 200 new kids sometimes many more if the Drama option in lower year levels brought every kid in years 7 8 and 9 to my studio. That's a lot of kids.
And over 30 years well that is just a shed load of kids. And of course they grow up to be big people who all too often look nothing like they did when they were youngsters. On the other hand, I look the same only creased and wider, like an image on a perishing rubber mat stretched tight width ways, probably recognisable but maybe not at first glance.
When we decided to stay in Twickenham, I worried about running into 'kids' I taught way back when. My unexpected, speedy exit from the school would possibly have been wrongly explained by people who were no longer allies - understatement of all times! and so I wondered if I ran into kids/adults they would be smiling or wanting to avoid me.
I needed not have worried really.
When I popped into the hair dressers to get coloured up, the colourist immediately identified herself as an ex-student and we had a lovely time catching up. Then another of the hairdressers popped over to say that she had been in my class too. She was full of praise and mentioned that she was sad when I left. I didn't go on with any bile filled vitriol. It's too long ago and these now adults would have been unaware of the politics and bullshit of the time.
The 2 women made me proud to have been apart of their education.
They are lively, confident, competent professional women and their drama classes could not have hurt in this regard.
So it's gratifying to randomly run into exes and NOT have them pull a newspaper over their faces and hide, or reach into their handies for something rotten to throw.
Yeh it makes me feel like some good was done.