In many ways, the DCS staff room is reminiscent of many that I’ve encountered throughout my teaching career: the random collection of furniture, the tea/coffee area with its collection of assorted chipped mugs, the way certain seats are sacrosanct – I would not dare to sit in Rosa’s chair, and would feel most uncomfortable taking my place at the young women’s table. And of course there is the photocopier, occasioning a familiar frustration and despair whenever it malfunctions.
Some things are different. It is more well-used than most, especially for the daily morning briefing (which also contains prayers, of varying lengths and styles as they rotate through the staff). It is also friendly and welcoming – happy birthday is sung regularly, and there are monthly break-time feasts. Just about everyone says good morning to everyone else, and, best of all, the mark of a most excellent space, it is frequently consumed by laughter.