Get set

January 1 might be New Year’s Day, but January always feels to me like no-man’s-time.  The long summer break when I forget what day it is. Camping and beach holidays. Heat waves that make it ok to spend all afternoon watching Buffy reruns.

The year really starts tomorrow, when I go back to work.

Tomorrow I will stand in the middle of an empty class room and re-imagine the space.  I will negotiate with my colleagues, move tables around, position bookshelves, build platforms.  I will place everything pleasingly, then realise I have only found a home for 70% of the furniture.  I will place enough tables for everyone to sit for lunch, then feel I can’t cross the room without bumping.  I will pace around trying to get a feel for how the traffic will flow, testing turns and pathways.  I will look at the room from different angles checking the sight lines.

Tomorrow I will check the garden for deadly nightshade. I will sweep paths and shake leaves off the sandpit cover.  I will pull spades and buckets and mobilo and tricycles out of the shed.  I will check for mouldy gumboots and spiders in blocks. I will arrange planks and A-frames into a climbing course, and test the ropes on the swings. I will pick up windfall apples, and pull out lettuce that has gone to seed.  Perhaps I will find some ripe tomatoes for my lunch.

Tomorrow I will label lockers and write questionnaires and search for enrolment forms and set up filing systems.

Tomorrow I will get everything ready for the children who start the next day.

And tomorrow night, I will go to bed with a knot in my stomach, convinced I have forgotten how to teach.

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