Well I went back to work today. As I have mentioned, it has been a good 12 weeks since I worked, so needless to say it was a shock to the system - just the physical act of getting up and organised was draining.
I had a little moment in the car on the way there. It's funny how you get so used to a routine: driving the same road, seeing the same cars going the other way (and on my trip there I drive past back-to-back traffic banked up for a long way - cars with single occupants all going to the same place). On the roundabout I drove past a friend who worked with me last year. She's at a different school now and when she turned off, I got a bit of a twinge. I realised that most of the people that I would lean on if things got tough were now gone from the school. Even though I've been there 3 years now, I felt like I was the new one. That feeling eased off a little once I got there, but my eyes did mist up a bit. And knowing that the routine is the same but things are so, so different...
The day was OK. Despite working with an age group I haven't taught for a good four years, I think it went pretty well. The kids were lovely, the other staff were lovely, and the parents were amazing. Such lovely support and comments. It was a nice feeling.
I can't help but think that everything is different though. I mean, of course it is, but (and I may be paranoid) I feel like people are treating me differently. Maybe they should, I dunno, maybe if they didn't I'd want them too, but there's something different.
People do this every day? I did this every day??
We had a staff meeting after school, and despite the fact that there was interesting stuff going on, I felt very, very tired just sitting there listening.
Tomorrow is another challenge. I start the day in pre-school. An age group I have never seen from a teacher perspective (but funnily enough the age group that inspired me to start teaching in the first place). I've only got them for a little while, but I think that will be more than enough.