Mr. Davies was early. He glanced at his watch. Half past 8. Perhaps everyone else was just late! He crossed the threshold into a large room which smelled faintly of boredom. He unwound the lid of his travel mug and approached the kitchenette in the corner of the room. A chemistry teacher greeted him smiling, happily stirring his morning coffee, which was imprisoned in a chipped China mug, blackened from repeated use, with the chemical symbol for copper and phosphorus emblazoned on the front in a witty attempt to spell ‘cup.’ Mr. Davies smiled back to complete their speechless exchange, whilst he poured brown granules into his mug directly from the jar. He flipped on the magic hot water dispenser and listened to the sound of his coffee being instantly brewed. Mr. Davies wasn’t keen on a great many things, but he liked the hot water dispenser. A lot.
I should begin with a disclaimer. I’m not a gardener. Nor do I pretend to be. But I’ve got the bug and I’m not talking about the type of bug that decimates your dahlias. I’m talking about the relentless itching desire to get out into the garden to plant things, nurture saplings, or launch a new offensive against the "Stinky Bob" infesting the borders. I’m talking about that frustrated mixed feeling you get when it rains, because your plants are getting watered but you just can’t get outside to mow the grass. I’m no expert. But I’m learning, often by making some pretty stupid mistakes but more often by talking to others who already have a wealth of knowledge and a lifetime of past experience. That's what I’m calling all the mistakes I’ve made by the way: experience.
The books should have been laid out neatly on desks in accordance to the carefully designed seating plan Mr. Davies had painstakingly prepared. There should have been a lesson starter on the board to get the pupils engaged immediately at the start to “set the tone” for the lesson. Mr. Davies glanced wearily up from the computer he was leaning over to survey the marketplace of year eight pupils bustling around at the back of the classroom, tearing through boxes in search of exercise books. He was glad he was not being observed today.
The pale morning sun glinted through the crack of that blind that didn’t work, no matter how hard you tug at it. A dagger of sunlight illuminated the bottom right hand corner of the interactive whiteboard, ready to track its journey across the face of the screen during lessons one and two. A battered filing cabinet stood proudly at the back of the room, the top drawer slightly open because it didn’t close properly. It was flanked by two sturdy bookcases, made in the 80’s from thick pine and ornately carved by students throughout the decades to inform future generations that “Callum is a Twat” or that “Courtney loves Andrew My Dick.”