I am convinced that the job of a primary school teacher is one of the toughest in the world. And I'm not saying this just because I am one myself. You are basically a substitute parent with the added responsibility of educating these wild things. You are also constantly switching roles from bad cop to good cop, from friend to foe, from an entertainer to a serious, frown bearing, glasses wearing, nose wrinkling lecturer all the while functioning as a dictionary, an encyclopedia, a mentor, a model and well...the list doesn't end. I mean, there is a reason I take four hour naps after coming home from work. But with all this drama, you get to have these incredible moments that only childhood innocence can give you.
The school where I work, the faculty bathrooms share a common wall with the students' bathroom except, since ours has its entrance from the faculty room, most students have no idea that we are so close. We can pretty much hear every single conversation that goes on in there because of the air vents. Some of these conversations are hilarious. Six to eight year old children convene to complain about their day, or how harsh their teacher is or what they got for lunch and what they are willing to exchange (they actually have a proper barter system in place: one brownie for two bananas and a chicken nugget, two cookies for four nuggets, the list goes on)
A couple of days ago I was chilling in the faculty bathroom, trying to get away from an incredibly boring teacher who loves to give religious talks to all and sundry. I was sitting and reading when suddenly, one of my student's voice drifts in through the air vent. She was basically bossing the first graders around, telling them off for not using soap, discussing lunch break with one of her friends...the usual. I was just listening to her when I had one of my "Edison" moments. I stood under the air vent and called out
"Umamah, get back to class this instant. This is a bathroom, not a club."
For a few seconds there was complete silence. And then..
"How does she know everything?!"
"Told you. She's a witch."