Yesterday I was thinking back to when I first started writing as "Ranting Teacher". It started me thinking about some of the real characters I've taught over the years, and the clever - or downright bizarre - things that children have come out with. Now don't worry, I'm not about to do a "children say the funniest things" post, because most of the time they are situation comedies - you have to have been there at the time for it to retain a modicum of humour.
But it did remind me of something that happens to me every now and again. This year, being in a new school with rivers of mostly new faces coursing through the corridors, a weird sensation has occurred a few times. For a moment, I think I spot a face I recognise: a pleasant girl from my form group, or the witty boy from my Year 10 class, or a girl who made me a present after a school trip. But then the child turns around and I realise it's not them at all, and I also realise that it couldn't possibly be that pupil because they were in my old school not my new one. And I suddenly realise how much I miss certain pupils and other things of my last school.
Because the reason new schools can be so tough and dis-heartening is that you haven't yet built up sufficient relationships with the children that you teach. They still try to find your weaknesses and suss you out. But already some kinds of attachments are being formed. One of my classes, who drive me round the bend with their inability to concentrate and their random interruptions, are already asking me if I will be teaching them next year. Now I'm not that naive that I see this as flattery; instead I see it as a case of "better the devil you know", but what it has shown me is that they are starting to see me as a piece of the furniture, which is a positive thing unless they start etching in their initials and sticking chewed gum on me somewhere.