I wanted a cup of tea

white book beside white mug
Photo by Ekrulila on Pexels.com

I finished the last sip of tea from my travel mug as I pulled into the parking lot. I stepped out of my car thinking, “I’d like another cup of tea.”

Of course, I had a morning meeting. Ever optimistic, I ran into my office, turned on the kettle, and hoped the meeting would be short enough that the water would still be hot and I could make some tea before class. It wasn’t short. There was no time for tea.

On my way to class, I thought, “maybe I can make tea during my prep period.” But it turned out that I had an on-call (where one teacher covers a class for a teacher who is absent), so I didn’t have a prep period, so I couldn’t make tea.

After covering the class, I was hoping to make a cup of tea with lunch, but I’d forgotten about about a lunch presentation I’d planned to attend, so I rushed upstairs, grabbed my lunch then headed back downstairs to the library. I figured I would have time after the presentation to make some tea. But the presentation was great, and the discussion ran right to the warning bell, so there was no time for tea.

I gathered my things and headed off to my afternoon classes. These are Spec Ed classes with mostly drop-in students, so sometimes I can sneak out for a minute to make tea, but today started with a desperate phone call: another on-call teacher couldn’t find the lesson plans the regular teacher had left. I could hear the students talking loudly in the background. Since I’m the department head, I ran out to the portables to figure out what the students were supposed to be reading; I also reminded them about being polite to guest teachers. That done, I climbed the stairs back to Spec Ed: one student was struggling to answer questions about Of Mice and Men; another needed one-on-one math help; a 9th grader decided today was the right day to start his first-ever resume; and a fourth student just couldn’t concentrate. Students came and went, needing help, writing tests, asking for favours; the phone rang off the hook with teachers checking on various things. I worked straight through two periods without a break. I hadn’t even thought about tea.

In fact, I was just thinking about making that cup of tea when the phone rang one more time: a student with autism had not left class when the final bell rang. She was sitting, unmoving, ears covered, head down. I hightailed it directly to the classroom where the teacher realized, sheepishly, that the young woman had fallen asleep during his class. We woke her gently. Problem solved. But now there wasn’t enough time to make tea before the staff meeting after school.

The staff meeting was mercifully short. I was giving some colleagues rides home after school and we were a little rushed, but, because they are teachers, they waited patiently while I finally made myself a cup of tea, eight hours after I first thought “I’d like another cup of tea.”

It was a good cup of tea.


9 thoughts on “I wanted a cup of tea

  1. For me, the cup of tea is coffee and often I’m too late to the teacher’s lounge and the pot is empty, so I have to make another pot. Then I get busy and never get back to get the coffee. But all this said, your tea was a great way to anchor this slice to give us a little window into your hectic days.


  2. This is so relatable. I can see you turning this post into a poem. Even w/ coffee-filled Hydro flask in hand, sometimes there’s no time to finish my morning joe until late afternoon.


  3. For me the cup of tea is a phone call that is not urgent. Things keep getting in the way. I wish I had an office. Sometimes I hide in the AV/tech closet with the old computer equipment & the TVs and make calls on my cell phone.

    It sounds like you had a very busy day! You really captured the frenetic pace a school teach must keep!


  4. So many people were helped today – amazing and you kept going. I have a microwave in the room and try to make a cup of tea mid morning – sometimes with kids right there to help settle the moment. I was glad your friends at the end of the day were patient to help you find that settle moment.


  5. Well done, Amanda. I love how your cup of tea kept me reading about your packed day. You had me cheering for you all the way, knowing you would surely get that cup of tea, or would you?


  6. I can relate to this. Some days are busier than others. Sometimes I make a cup of tea in the morning only to find it unfinished and cold by the end of the day. I like how you crate the pace in your slice. I am happy your day ended with a cup of tea.


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