Sunday, December 16, 2012

friday morning...

As I drove to work on Friday morning I thought about the plans for day, the activities my kindergarteners would do, and was thankful it was Friday. I noticed a lady who seemed to miss the turn on a back road and got herself stuck in a ditch. I was thankful a man stopped to help her and I thought to myself that I need to add the local police department's phone number to my phone. As I entered the building I began my morning routine; turning on computers, starting up the projector, sharpening pencils, saying my hellos. This Friday morning added a bit of excitement and joy because there were treats in the lounge. Fridays are always better when there are treats.

Little did I know that as I was preparing for my kindergartners to enter my classroom another school across the country was facing a horrific tragedy. Little did I know elementary teachers were facing their worse nightmare. Teachers were praying for their students and doing anything within their power and control to try and keep their students safe. Little did I know...

I learned about the events in Connecticut from a parent. She had e-mailed me to let me know how much she appreciated all I did for her son and all the students in my class. Unaware of what had unfolded I quickly checked our local news website and read in shock about the events. As I read I think I went numb. I did not let myself cry and truly process the events. As a teacher I had to keep some composure. I could not fall apart. I could not allow my students to see me shaken and not be able to explain why. I breathed. I prayed. And I began to think about what I would do if that happened to me, to my school, to my students. As my students walked out the door on Friday afternoon I gave them an extra squeeze and reminded them I loved them.

On Saturday morning Eric was watching coverage of the Connecticut tragedy. I was only standing in the room for a minute or so when they began to talk about the teachers who had lost their lives protecting their students. With tears in my eyes I had to walk out of the room. I could not stay. I could not listen. I could not watch. I have not read any more about the shootings. I have not watched any of the news coverage. I have seen bits and pieces of new details on social media. I have had a few conversations with others. I am heartbroken. Heartbroken.

As a teacher I have thought about those teachers. The fear they faced. The faces of their students looking at them. Wondering. Terrified. As a teacher this is the worst thing that could ever happen to your school and your students. We train for this. We have drills, discussions, and more drills. We play the scenario out in our minds. We stare at our classrooms and wonder where would my kids be the safest. And we pray the day will never, ever, come. For these teachers the day did come. These teachers and administrators did everything right, they did what they were trained to do, they told their students they loved them, they protected them. They gave up their life for their students.

I love my students. I would do anything to protect them. I have told them countless times that they are safe. I have told them that I would do anything to keep them safe, anything. Without a second thought I would protect my students to my death. Just as I would my daughter. They are my children. They may not be my flesh and blood but they are mine and I would do what ever it took to keep them safe.

As I walk into my classroom on Monday morning I will fight the tears. I will whisper my thank you's for being able to teach another day. I will keep Sandy Hook Elementary and it's community in the forefront of my thoughts and prayers. I will give hugs without reason and I will let me students know how much I love them.

Monday morning will not be easy. Monday morning will not be without tears. Monday morning will be tough. On Monday morning I will be greeted by 29 faces eager to learn, eager to play, eager to be a part of their school community. Monday morning will come...
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