A few weeks before, I had been brought into the Headmaster's office with my colleague sitting in the corner with pursed lips and a smug face. It was explained to me that my teaching skills weren't "up to their school's high standards" and that I would NOT be asked back for the following year.
I was devastated.
I loved that school and most of the kids in it. It was my first full year teaching. What they "expected" from me was a load of fucking bullshit. I was (and still am) a perfectionist and I put my heart and soul into that job. I never did anything half-assed. I spent mornings, nights, lunches and weekends helping any student that needed it. But here's the thing...
The morning of my FIRST day on the job, I was asked to take out my eyebrow piercing and I refused. They had 10 weeks of meetings and training with me to ask me about it before that morning. It's not like it was something I could hide. So, of course, I was pretty upset about that. I told them if they had asked me before, I would have taken it out so it would have had time to heal. I wasn't going to have two holes in my face on my first day on the job.
And I thought that was the end of it. But it wasn't.
My colleague, who was more than pleasant at the beginning (she was only a few years older than myself), began being terribly passive-aggressive towards me. I just ignored her. I don't have time for bullshit behavior like that at my work place. And it got worse and worse, to the point it became full out bitchiness and cruel bullying; not to mention she did this in front of the students which was so fucking unprofessional.
So on this particular day, the NEW teacher that was going to replace me came for a visit. I had nothing against him. I welcomed him into what was soon to be his room; I had a class currently underway. I showed him around; where things were kept, et cetra, et cetra. It was a fairly uneventful interaction.
After class, my colleague stormed into my empty room, "How DARE you speak to the new teacher! You have no right!"
And here's right about where 10 months of her under-handed psychological tormenting came to a really big ugly motherfucking head and I exploded:
HOW DARE I? LAST TIME I CHECKED, I WAS A FUCKING HUMAN BEING AND I CAN SPEAK TO WHOMEVER I WANT TO. I AM LEAVING, YOU GOT WHAT YOU WANTED, SO FUCK OFF AND DON'T SPEAK TO ME LIKE THAT EVER AGAIN. YOU'RE A BITCH AND EVERYONE KNOWS IT AND YOU'RE JUST JEALOUS OF ME BECAUSE ALL THE STUDENTS CAME TO ME FOR HELP INSTEAD OF YOU AND THAT'S THE REAL REASON WHY YOU HAD ME FIRED. YOU'RE A PETTY AND PATHETIC EXCUSE FOR A TEACHER.
Oh yeah, I went there, and it felt so gawd damn amazing. She stood there, stunned. I had taken her abuse and snide remarks all year. It was the last thing she expected from me, I'm certain of it. Then, she attempted to rebut: "And you with your stupid damn eyebrow ring. You're the unprofessional one. Do you have any idea how much of a disappointment you are?" Oh, right... we're rehashing THAT up, are we? OK...
YOU SAID YOU WERE PROUD OF ME FOR STANDING UP FOR MYSELF, YOU FUCKING TWO-FACED BITCH. YOU KNOW HOW UPSET THAT ISSUE MADE ME. AND WHILE WE'RE ON THE TOPIC OF UNPROFESSIONALISM, LET'S BRING UP THE FACT THAT YOU DIDN'T EVEN SHOW UP TO YOUR OWN ART SHOW AND I COVERED FOR YOU. AND THAT WAS JUST...LAST...WEEK. YOU'RE THE ONE THAT DISAPPOINTED ME. YOU WERE MEANT TO BE MY MENTOR AND FRIEND BUT INSTEAD, YOU TURNED OUT TO BE A SELFISH COW THAT TOOK SOME SICK PLEASURE IN TORMENTING ME. WE ARE DONE HERE.
And you want to know something? That night was the first good night's sleep I had had in months. Sure, I had lost my job, but I said my peace and didn't go out with my tail between my legs. It still breaks my heart that in the end, it was the kids that lost out. They even started a petition to try to get me to stay... which of course, was also my fault that caused "a very awkward situation".
Karma is a sneaky bitch though. That colleague had a nervous breakdown and split from her husband over that summer holiday and she was off work until Christmas. They didn't even get a long-term supply to take her place! I emailed the Headmaster and offered my services once a week to help the students with their projects, since I was already more than familiar with them. And that I would gladly do it FOR FREE.
He never replied.