During the last few months of school, after I had finally let go of the bloated balloon carrying all my inflated fears and doubts, the noise became a song, and I enjoyed my time with the children. Once I had stopped holding the faculty and parents in contempt they started to do the same to me. Or maybe once I stopped caring about their opinion they suddenly had a better one.
It was strange that people were finally taking notice of my inner tenacity and care towards my class. There was a little ego satisfaction in knowing I had risen above my bleak circumstances. The faculty expected the worst from me because that was all they ever chose to see. I think they thought since I had a few more months to teach, they were going to see me slacking off, sulking or slithering around stirring up trouble. Instead I acted the same, if anything I held my head higher. They had done their worst. My reputation was ruined. But I felt free and at peace. At least as much as I could be.
“You’ve made people turn around, Lani.” Mrs. Squirrel said to me one day, “They’re second guessing their decision.”
Another person I discovered who was involved in firing me was #14’s husband who was on the Board of Directors.
Mrs. Bear told me, “He said you must not really want to teach since you’re not fighting for your job.”
I was wiping down the desks. I think she thought she was being helpful by informing me of the going-ons but every scrap of news she served just further hurt and confuse me. “Could you please not tell me these things anymore?”
She shrugged, “I just thought you would want to know.” She started to walk out of my room, “I’m not sure why you’re not fighting their decision.”
It was interesting that everyone expected me to contest the decision. These expectations took the responsibility and the action of the Core Group out of their hands and placed it in mine. Psychologically I found this to be a telltale sign of their guilt and indecisiveness. But I knew by fighting their decision, I would be continuing to play some sort of power struggle and I didn’t get into teaching to play at politics. A definition of insanity could be doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
I stared at Mrs. Bear’s retreating back and then moved to close my classroom door.