As a thoughtful academic and respected intellectual, I am a strong believer in the adage that only fools do not change their minds.
That is why, although I last week vowed to face our HM head-on over accusations of insubordination and incitement against me, I decided to give sanity a chance.
I shared my predicament with Wesonga, my special adviser on academic and economic affairs.
“If you still dream of one day becoming a Headmaster,” Wesonga told me on the phone, “you have to stop antagonising your HM.”
He went on: “If I were you, I would apologise to the HM, and demonstrate to him my willingness to return to his fold.”
I also consulted Kizito, a teacher who hails from a neighbouring village, teaches in a neighbouring school, and married a girl from a neighbouring sub-location.
“Make peace with your HM, you need him in your growth as a professional,” he said.
I planned to apologise to the HM next time we met but, after careful thought, I decided to instead put this in writing.
A letter, I believed, would leave a lasting impression on his mind.
With two dictionaries, I locked up myself in my house and wrote an apology letter that I knew could only lead to one thing: forgiveness.
Most Honoured Headmaster Sir,
My highly regrettable actions of last Thursday refer. It is with profound trepidation that I jot to you, with the sole intent of humbly seeking your unreserved forgiveness for my misnomers that I inadvertently committed last week, in the unfortunate full glare of the entire Mwisho wa Lami fraternity.
Sir, on behalf of all the faculties that make up my being, I do profusely apologise for my admittedly highly regrettable, uncalled for and unwarranted demeanour.
In asking the students to take out the pieces of furniture from your reputable office, my concern, and only concern, was the welfare of the pupils, our esteemed clients.
However, I now admit that this may have brought the good name of your executive office into terrible disrepute.
I wish to categorically state here that at no one juncture did I intend to malign your name, and or hurt your feelings, or bring out any of your subtle weaknesses, maliciously or otherwise.
Everyone with eyes and ears knows how you have single-handedly resurrected this school from intellectual doldrums to the current academic excellence that has made it the talk of the nation and the envy of your jealous contemporaries.
With your already accepted forgiveness, I can confidently consider this hatchet buried and believe we can now forge a new future in which I foresee myself playing the role of an agent of change in this tumultuous staffroom.
Going forward, I will become your beacon of hope, serve as your foundation of support and become your trusted confidant.
I will unquestionably support you in all your endeavours. Feel not apprehensive to invite me to take up additional and challenging roles and to report to you directly on happenings that my eyes may be privy to in this school.
I am also at your service 24-7 to give you unfettered academic and intellectual advice on how to run this school based on my wealth of knowledge that I continue to acquire from Kenyatta University.
Yours most humble and dutiful servant,
Mwalimu Andrew, Esquire, GHC, CRE, INSHA (B.Ed Hons – ongoing).
I typed the letter and went to the district headquarters from where I printed it. I was at the HM’s desk last Wednesday morning.
“Sir,” I started as I sat. “I have something important to tell you, but I believe this letter conveys my message much better.”
I handed him the letter. He carefully tore the envelope and read the letter at least three times. He smiled.
“Dre, I am happy to note that you have left Egypt and are on your way to Canaan,” he said.
“Since I trust you, as per your request, your sympathy is accepted and I forgive you,” he said then extended his arm to greet me.
He must have meant that my apology was accepted. It was not the first time that apology and sympathy had confused him.
He then went ahead and shared with me his vision for the school and told me that he needed my support in ensuring that his vision comes to fruition.
“I will, after observing you for about a month, write to TSC recommending your promotion,” he said.
I had thought that Juma was lying but when we had our first staff meeting that day, he used the opportunity to praise me and give me additional responsibilities.
When Kwame, the Deputy, denied me the chance to train athletics and music, the HM overruled him.
Next on the agenda was the new school timetable. “Last term, there were complaints from some teachers that the timetable favoured some people and punished others,” Kwame said.
“So this term I decided to do it myself to avoid such complaints.” “That is good Kwame,” said the Headmaster. “Did you use a computer to do it?”
Kwame told him that he had not used a computer. “I have said it time and again that we need to embrace technology. If we have someone here who has a laptop computer, we have to take advantage.”
The Deputy tried to explain that one did not need a computer to make a timetable but the HM also announced at the meeting that Rumona and Tito, the new teachers, would report to me in their daily functions.
The next day, the HM called me to his office for a meeting. “Dre you know you are supposed to be my eyes and ears on the ground,” he told me once I was seated.
“What are your colleagues saying about me?” I told him that my colleagues were ok with him.
“The person they have a big problem with is the Deputy HM who does things without consulting and seems to favour some teachers like his wife Ruth and Madam Anita.”
“Don’t worry,” he said. “If the DEO listens to me, you will soon be holding that office.”
“And what about out there, what are people saying?” he asked me. I told him that I had neither visited Chemi Chemi nor Hitler’s for some time.
“If you have no money to go to Hitler’s, please let me know. This school is not as poor as some people think.” I nodded.
As I walked back to the staffroom, I happily whistled, well aware that good things were in store for me this term.