We've gone past the email stage. We've gone past the phone stage. It's all been fairly brief but pleasant. No feelings of "run away, run away" crossing my mind yet. He's a special ed teacher, which amazes me. Even though I teach pre-school (which scares most people), I just don't have the patience for a whole class of special needs children. Teachers who can handle that job get the utmost respect in my book as I believe they should all be sainted someday.
When we finally get together, of course the first thing that comes up is our shared profession. He tells me about his day and how this kid tried to jump out the window and that kid made a break for it on the playground. How this one just rocks in the corner all day long and that one gets physically violent and needs to be restrained. Really incredible stuff I've never had to deal with.
He goes on to tell me he got called in to sub in a "regular ed" classroom and he was bored off his ass all day. He was just waiting for them to bust loose at any moment. Waiting for the shit to hit the fan (some days, literally.) Waiting for something, anything to happen. But nothing did. All of the children sat quietly on the rug or in their seats, listening to the teacher, following directions, etc. He couldn't believe how long that day dragged on.
Maybe he just likes all the excitement because he also has ADD so he understands how they feel.
Ok, will not judge him based on this statement. He's cute (really cute), strong, tall, sweet, funny, and really nice. Must. Not. Judge.
I start to share some of my classroom experiences. I've taught everywhere from babies to Kindergarteners, most recently a class of 3-5 year olds. They're my favorite age group and ... wait... why are his eyes glazing over? Hello? Are you listening to me?
"What, I'm sorry, could you repeat that last part of the story? I must've missed it."
How could you have missed what I was just saying? It was 30 seconds long.
"I'm so sorry. I told you about the ADD but I also have selective hearing. So sometimes, I just kinda tune out and I'll miss entire conversations. It's not that I don't find what you're saying really fascinating..."
And then he just trails off. I realize he's not even listening to himself.
Which is probably why he didn't hear me tell him I was leaving.