So much for my triumphant return to the classroom.
I think I have made a monumental mistake, and now I am rooted, not to put too fine a point on it.
What on earth made me think I was ready for a return to teaching? Teaching is not a job for anyone with fragilities. I've always known that – but I thought, after four and a half years since the attack, that I was over my fragilities. Evidently not.
I used to be a good teacher. Now I know that I'm not the teacher I used to be. Today clinched it. Today, a few of my Year 10 boys thought it would be funny if one of them jumped out behind me, shrieking, as I made my way to class.
Yep, hilarious stuff. The consequence? A panic attack (damn, and I thought I was better). To my credit, I held it off and held it off and held it bloody off for about 15 minutes (I'm clearly getting much better at this), and then I just had to leave the classroom because my heart was pounding fit to burst, I couldn't breathe and I couldn't stop the tears from coming. I spent the rest of the day battling episodes of breathlessness and panic.
Can you imagine how embarrassing it is for a 51 year old woman to be in that situation in front of a room full of 15-16 year olds?
Even worse – NOW WHAT??? I'm supposed to go back there tomorrow and fight the good fight, and all I want to do is crawl into a hole somewhere and hide. I'm mortified and I'm so fucking miserable I could die, and I've burned my bridges. I feel as if my back's to the wall, and I really am at a complete loss – what to do next? Clearly I am not fit to be in a classroom - yet? (if ever?)