My Teaching Ethic According to the Cleaning Lady

I don't quite know what to make of the American girl in office 402.  I usually arrive to the school around 15:00, change into my cleaning clothes, and begin collecting the classrooms' trash and recycling (if I started with the floors, I know some student would mess them before I left).  Usually within the first hour, I see her--sometimes I take her for a student when she's wearing those skinny jeans.  She always greets me with a "dobrý den" that almost makes me think she's Czech.  (But I know her accent from our conversations about locking/unlocking classrooms.)  So she greets me and nicely avoids the piles of dust that appear once the students have left and I start sweeping.

At first, I wasn't used to teachers being around so late in the afternoons, and some of her and my first conversations were after she was locked out of her office on Wednesdays when she teaches a private lesson to some gentleman a bit older than me (he is quite handsome for his age and he always wears a nicely-ironed button-up shirt).  But I've gotten used to her being there, and I know Wednesday afternoons to keep her office and classroom 405 unlocked.

I understand that she teaches him until 17:30 on Wednesdays, but I don't understand why she was in her office until nearly 18:30 yesterday.  When I enter the office to get their recycling and trash, she's often sitting at her desk with piles of paper around her and her email open.  Still, she seems pretty cheerful and I try to give her encouraging smiles when we meet.  When she's there that late, I often hear her visit the vending machine for some Peanut M&Ms--though I think she tries to hide this fact from me (but don't all American's eat M&Ms--and she is an American, I can see it on the sign next to her office and I hear her speaking English).

I'm still trying to figure out why I often see her there so late.  I checked her office before I left for the night tonight and she was still there.  So I said "nashledanou" and left her.  Maybe she likes working in the afternoon and evening.  I'm not at the school in the morning, so I don't know when she arrives.  She's quite young, so maybe she's not so efficient in her work yet, but I see other teachers her age leave earlier.   I suppose it's possible that she just has that much work to do.  While wiping down the teachers' tables, I saw her timetable on her wall--which is full of little boxes, and some she's coloured in. Maybe I'll take a closer look next time or maybe some day I'll ask her; she seems to like talking to me and her American Czech is kind of cute.


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