I walked slowly into the high school with worry consuming me like an ocean of nerves. And the appearance was less than expected, but it's still a high school. Don't judge a book by it's cover, indeed.
There was a door at the end of the main hallway that read 'Office' on a rusted plack above the frame, I had a strong feeling this would be the place to go. I opened the door to find a husky woman sitting at the desk, her flaming red hair un-unkempt and frizzy, though I was jealous. I'd always wanted that natural orange glow, but I was stuck with the plain dark brown locks I was born with.
"Hello, I'm Claire Deschanel."
"Ah yes," the woman stood, gesturing me to follow her, "Right this way." I followed her to another door, she knocked on the wood with her thick, manly hands.
A faint, "Come in," was heard behind the door and she had opened the door for me to enter.
"Thank you." I said and I walked in. As soon as I walked in, the door was slammed shut behind. Wow, what I nice feeling of appreciation I'm getting.
My eyes traveled around the plain office until they landed on a man sitting at the desk. This was-
"Hello, my name is Nathan Gardner, I'm the principle here at Summit High, and this is Mr. Sedgwick, the super-superintendent of the district." I walked up to the desk and shook both their hands, but my eyes stayed on who I now had a face to match the voice I heard over the phone.
He was a handsome man, I could not deny that. Black, graying hair neatly gelled on top his head. Graying, though he had not an old face, late thirties if that.
"Hi, I'm Claire Deschanel. It's nice to meet you both."
"And you as well, take a seat and let's get on with this." I smiled and sat in the chair, very uncomfortable, but I didn't complain. I handed him my resume. He read through it quickly. "Brown University?"
"Yes, sir." I answered shortly.
"And it says here that you resigned from your last job at Thomas Jefferson Private School?" I nodded towards Nathan. "Why, may I ask?"
I thought for a second, and weighing my options of lying or telling what really happened, I didn't go with the latter. "I'm just going to be completely honest with you, Mr. Gardner, Mr. Sedgwick, they gave me the option to either resign or they'd fire me. I wasn't professional in their eyes and my teaching methods were very... "radical," as they put it. I am very prone to teaching my own way and not by the books, and most schools, especially private schools, don't really take a liking to that. And I'm not extremely fond of teaching incompetent children how to finger paint either. I think a high school setting is a lot more suitable for myself."
Nathan glanced at the man standing behind him, then looked at me, "Well, Mrs. Deschanel, I think you just got a job. Now, under any other circumstance, you'd probably be without, but we are extremely desperate given the situation. I hope you can start tomorrow?"
What?! I'm pretty sure my eyes literally popped out of my head, holy shit. "Oh, uhm, I guess. That's extremely sudden, wow. But I guess I'll make it work."
Nathan smiled, "Great, fantastic, thank you very much Mrs. Dechanel." He stood and shook my hand, and I just now realized he'd gotten my name wrong this whole time, but he spoke again before I could correct him, "Be sure to be here by no later than seven thirty."
"Oh, will do. And it's Miss."
"It's Miss, Deschanel. I'm not married."
"Oh, excuse me, Miss Deschanel. Thank you." Nathan smirked a smirk that made my heart jump, a charming man he is.
"You're welcome, Mr. Gardner. And Mr. Sedgwick, thank you."
I walked out of the school, smiling. I finally had a job doing the thing I loved most. Teaching art.
The next morning I arrived at the school at around seven so I could get a good look around the halls of the school. As I passed the main office I saw a very familiar face.
"Mr. Gardner, hello there." He turned me, a smile erupted on his face.
"Miss Deschanel, good morning." I smiled, laughing at him putting infasis on the 'Miss' part. "Glad to see you didn't flake out on me."
I laughed, and said in a mocking British voice, "Oh, wouldn't dream of it, darlin'." Nathan laughed, he really did have a great smile.
"Well, get ready for one of the most brutal days of your life." He said.
"Why do you say that?"
"The kids at this school; they're savages, animals." I laughed, but noted the seriousness of his voice.
"It may seem, but every child has purpose, one way or another. They're just taking on the world by their own beat. And remember, they're the ones that are going to run this world in the future of tomorrow."
"God help us now." I laughed, he even cracked a cute little smile, and I could tell he was taking into consideration what I just told him. And it was true, everything I said. I speak from experience. "Oh, here, let me show you your class room."
I followed him and I watched as a few students started entering the hall ways, some giving me weird and awkward glances. We walked down a rather short hallway and stopped at a door at the very end, this must be my room.
He opened the door and we walked in.
My jaw flew to the floor.
It was...perfect. Walls decorated in late to old and new century inspired paintings and eight wood tables made a "U" shape in the large room. Cabinets I guessed were filled with supplies lining the far wall and windows all along the east wall, my desk sitting in front of them.
"I'm guessing you like it?" Nathan looked at me, I realized my gawking and straightened myself up.
"Y-yes, it's amazing, it's perfect, I love it!" I walked over to the desk, setting my bag and my purse on top.
"Here is your class schedule and attendance list. And here is the lesson plans the previous teacher had planned for the next couple of weeks." He handed me these things, though I sat down the other papers and focused on the lesson plans.
I read through the first one. I was kind of disgusted. This was hardly a lesson plan at all. So, I went through it a little deeper, and still saw nothing of interest.
Nathan was watching me intently as I tossed the bunch of papers in the trash can next to my desk. He looked at me with disbelief.
"My teachings are radical, didn't you know?" He just shook his head, smirking.
"Don't make me regret hiring you, Miss Deschanel." Students started making their way into the class room and sat at the tables as Nathan and I stood by the windows.
"Oh, you won't regret a thing, and...call me Claire." I thought I should be casual with him.
Nathan looked at me with curiosity, "Well, Claire, I think it's time you attend to your class. And if you don't mind, I'd like to sit in on a few class periods to experience these 'radical teachings' of yours."
I smiled, and turned to the class. "Hey guys, my name is Claire..." I wrote my name on the whiteboard with a green marker, "Deschanel, and I will be your new art teacher for the rest of the year. Now, I don't know what your previous teacher had you working on, but you aren't working on it anymore." I saw the looks on some of their faces, priceless surprise. "Don't worry. As students in Art II you have previous teachings and knowledge of the art of abstraction, correct?" A few nodded their heads, "Well, that's our new unit, starting today, we will crash into the world of dreams and colour variations and just plain abstraction at it's finest. I do believe this is going to be a good year."
And that was the moment I knew I had all these kids anticipation in my grasps. Yes, a good year indeed.
This was probably the best decision I've made in my entire life, hiring Claire Deschanel. Not only was she a fantastic teacher, but her person alone captivated me more than anything I've ever felt. As I watched her speak to the class I watched her movements and listened to her crystal, serene voice, I grew a small attraction towards her. Though, it really wasn't much of anything. She was a pretty gal, any man would find her attractive.
But the way she spoke with such intelligence and humble-ness, made my attraction towards her grow. It's not everyday you run into a girl like her. The way her light blue eyes traveled throughout the classroom, watching the students drawing and painting, created a sense of admiration. It was captivating.
Wait. What am I thinking? She a teacher at my school, this could cost me my job. Shit. But watching her, it's just so overwhelming. Despite the fact that she was a close friend of Charlie Bartlett, she showed no similarities between him and her by the way she acted, that I was thankful for.
As Claire said something that made her students laugh, I saw the expression she held on her face. It was...happiness. Happiness at its core. That was a rare thing to find in a teacher. I used to have that feeling, that look on my face when I was a History teacher. But that is in the past, I'm a principle now. A fucking principle for god's sake and I absolutely hate it. Except for right now.
I decided that I wanted the students to start working on Dream Sequences, something I was extremely fond of. The first assignment was just a dream, warped around a colour scheme. They all seemed excited to begin.
I walked back over to Nathan and sat on the surface of my new desk, he held a surprised look on his face.
Nathan shook his head, letting out a sigh, "That was great, you're a natural teacher." I smiled.
"Well, thank you. It's great to hear that from you." He nodded, his perfect teeth showing from behind his lips. I know better than to be struck by charm, but his was different.
"I'm glad we got the chance to have you here. Would you be interested in further years of teaching?" He asked, but I'm sure he already knew the answer.
"I would absolutely love to, Mr. Gardner." This is great. My life is just getting better and better.
As the day went on, and classes came and went and I started to see what Nathan meant by these kids being savages. They acted fine in my classroom but out in the hallways, jesus, I have to watch where I walk out there.
But I did learn about some of the happenings from the kids in my class. I found out that the board had put security cameras in the student lounge, and the students were completely outraged. I laughed at the immaturity, but I could see where they were coming from. Though it was important to have the cameras, given the type of school this was.
Third hour was probably the most interesting hour, it was Art III, an independent class.
"Hey guys, my name is Claire Deschanel and I will be your art teacher for the rest of the year. I'll start by taking attendance and we'll get on with the new lesson." I grabbed the list for third hour and starting calling off names. "Herold Abbott."
"Here, I go by Harry."
I marked that down on the paper, "It's very nice to meet you Harry. Lilly Baker?"
"Hey, Lilly. Charlie Bar- oh, suspended." I laughed, "Kipp Cromwell?"
"H-here." I looked up at a boy sitting of to the side, away from everybody.
"Hey Kipp, how are you?"
He paused for a second and looked down, "F-fine, I'm fine."
I smirked, "That's good. Susan Gardner?"
"Here." I looked up, and smiled.
"You're Nathan's daughter, aren't you?" She nodded her head, rolling her eyes a bit in regret. Interesting. "Good to meet you...Ella Jenkins?"
"Hey. You have a beautiful name, dear."
"I go by Lex." I smiled.
"Hey, Lex...And last but not least, Devon Williams?"
Soon the day was over and I was sitting at my new desk, writing down some notes for tomorrow's lesson and listening to Iron & Wine from my laptop. I made mental notes all day to bring supplies from home for there wasn't nearly as much supplies as I would like provided. I'm sure some of the money that was put into those cameras in the lounge had to of been taken from somewhere in the funding and it wouldn't surprise me if it'd been taken out of the art funds.
My thoughts were suddenly broken by a knock and an opening of the door. I looked up to see Nathan. Not that I was complaining, but I was seeing a lot of him today.
"Hey Claire, how was your first day here at Summit High?"
"Oh, it was fantastic. I have your daughter, Susan in third hour, she has quite a talent." Nathan smiled a little.
"Yes, she also has a beautiful singing voice. I used to love coming home and hearing her sing in the other room. That doesn't really happen any more," he said sadly.
"Well, maybe she lost the passion." He looked at me with uncertain eyes, "She'll find it again, I'm sure of it. And I hope you don't mind but I'm going to go out and buy some supplies and bring some from home for the students. The given supplies here isn't as...great to work with, if you know what I mean."
"Oh, no, go ahead, I don't mind at all. I'm glad you had a good day, I'll see you tomorrow Miss Deschanel."
"Have a good day, Mr. Gardner." I watched him leave and once he was out the door, I could see out of the corner of my eye, he took a double look and walked off. And I smiled to myself.