Sitting on a bench in front of the dining hall at the National College of Education, Peradeniya, I scanned the area to admire the beauty. Distant mountains clothed in green, soothed my puffy eyes. My legs, aching after exercises, restrained me from walking everywhere. Today, is my ninth fantastic day in this place. Though the place is calm and quiet, our hectic schedule did not give us at least a minute, to enjoy this stunning view.
My thoughts flew back in time, when my father texted me while I was in school. “Your letter has come,” I panicked for a moment. However, I assured myself, there is no chance that this letter to be the one I suspect.
I continued with my work. Again, in the bus on my way home the phone rang. “The letter has come. Did you see it?” From the other side of the line a friend queried. Trembling with a shock and fear, I hurried home. The more I got closer to the house the more I got agitated.
All warnings were right. Finally, the letter arrived informing me about the government teaching appointment I received. I expected it, but not early as this. Commencing the new job with three days’ notice was a challenge! If I were unemployed, I would be delighted. However, I am responsible for certain things: I cannot leave my little brats in school alone.
This was one reason for me to refuse, to receive the letter this soon. I knew the officials would not give me much time to give notice to my previous school. What should I tell them? Will I be able to console them? I did not have answers for any of my questions. No one had. However, parents insisted that I should take up this job. Everyone believed this was a rare opportunity. Yet, I was in a crisis.
The weekend was hectic. Running from one office to another, visiting heads of the departments in their houses, finally I convinced them to allow me to leave and I found a replacement too for my vacancy. By the following Monday, my friend assumed duties in my position and I in the new position.
Everyone was shocked as some were sad. Throughout the time, I missed my Year Five students. I could not believe that I did my last lesson for them on Friday. I badly wanted to go and do another lesson for them. I wanted to hug them and say how much I loved them. Everything changed within just a few hours. I had to be apart from the children.
When I visited the school later that day, I had hundreds of questions to answer from my little ones. I had to lie to keep them happy. “I’m on a training honey, I will be back in two weeks” They were happy. They counted two weeks to find the day when I would come back. I watched them with a little tear in the corner of my eye. “I love you a lot, I am going to miss every one of you,” I slowly murmured.
I had to undergo a pre-training session at one of the leading girls’ schools at Nugegoda, there I realised the value of being a teacher, and how honourable this job is. Children respected me even after knowing that I was just a trainee. Though I expected my life as a trainee to be a rough one, these little flowers seemed to enjoy my presence.
They were cooperative. When the feeling crept into my mind, as they are my children, it was the time for me to finish the training session. Unexpectedly receiving a rose on ‘Teachers’ day’ one day in advance, as I left the school before that day, attracted me more towards them. After all, I was just a visitor for them; still they were kind enough to make me a part of their family. I am enjoying life as a teacher. Being loved all the time is amazing.
Sitting in the classroom in that school on the last day of the training, I was astonished by the way, they begged, for me to stay back. Looking at their faces, I realised the pleading was no joke. They reminded me of my little ones I left at such short notice. For the first time, in my life I realised that even though the background of every child is different, they are all alike.