It takes a while to actually realise you’re leaving your job. At least, it took a while for it to sink in for me. Maybe because I had been thinking of it for so long that the novelty just wore off, and also I only associated the idea with hassle. Maybe I already knew deep down that something would turn up before the May deadline and I’d be off, and so something inside me was already prepared. Or maybe the nerves and adrenaline take a while to subside, and only then does reality bite. And that bite comes in different forms:
1. People you never really spoke to before come up to congratulate you and actually mean it.
2. You see your job advertised with alarming rapidity.
3. People start planning your leaving party without consulting you.
4. Somehow the kids know before you do. “Is it true?” they ask and you try to work out if they’re happy, sad, or just curious.
5. You start to view your classes with different eyes. With some pupils, there is overwhelming relief that you won’t have to deal with them or their parents ever again. With others, there’s some sadness that you won’t be following their progress when you see so much potential.
Today were the interviews for the post I am vacating. I was going to say “my job”, but I think it ceased to become mine when I staked a claim in a new place. I’ve never been at a school for as long as I’ve been in this one, and so never before have I felt such mixed emotions about leaving, even though it’s a little way off yet. I was involved in some of the interviewing processes and so was eager to know who had been given the job at the end of the day. I was pleased for the successful candidate and it was a happy moment to see how excited and relieved they were when they were told: texting colleagues and family whilst shovelling papers into their briefcase and trying to take it all in, just as I had done so recently myself.
But it was as I walked out to the car park that the reality sunk in and I realised I had just been replaced. And that was the moment I knew that I really will be leaving. Today was the end of a busy half term. That means I have just one half term left... the next time we break up I will be saying goodbye for good.