English as a Second Language (ESL) or English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers can be a noisy lot. We might be blowing off steam about a bad class or bad student, debating grammar points, talking about our other great passion that we wish were our real job, or discussing something totally alien to the teacher’s room–because that is what we do.
I generally find it hard to do anything constructive in the teacher’s room. It’s great for conversations and it can be really funny. It just isn’t always good for things that require deep concentration.
Today was different. Today, I found myself in a very quiet space. It wasn’t as if everyone had gone, but I have to admit there were fewer people milling around. Those that were, were somewhat quieter than usual. Even the boisterous ones were having more subdued conversations.
When I started lunch, I became subtly aware of some of the background noise in the lunchroom. There was the working hum of the refrigerator, the springy sound of the timer on the microwave, and photocopies being made in the distance.
I didn’t managed to do anything constructive and will now face a daunting pile of student writings in what I am sure will be a raucous and jocular atmosphere tomorrow. Instead, I ate my sandwich in silence, checked my blog statistics quietly, played Words with Friends in the cone of silence, and enjoyed some quiet.
It didn’t last for my entire lunch break, but it lasted long enough to make it Today’s Perfect Moment.