As a former teacher and a parent of a soon-to-be 6 year old, Friday’s events have shaken me to the core. My heart is absolutely broken for the families and entire community in Connecticut. As a high school teacher I worried about the possibility that an event like Friday’s could occur on my campus. I often played scenarios in my head of what I would do should that occur; what furniture could be easily moved as a barricade; where the safest place in the room was; etc. And, while no amount of forethought could possibly prepare you for something like this, I do know that as a teacher, in the time of any crisis, issue, or scary moment, your first instinct is to protect those kids in your care.
In today’s society, teachers all too often get a bad rap. But on Friday, teachers put themselves in harm’s way & had to think on their feet in a way that most of us cannot even fathom. I imagine the amazing stories of heroism that have just started to emerge will grow & continue as the days go on. The principal & school psychologist who died trying to stop the gunman. Victoria Soto, the 1st grade teacher who gave her life as she became the human shield between the gunman and the precious little ones in her care. Kaitlin Roig, the 1st grade teacher who barricaded herself & many students inside a bathroom …”I told the kids I love them and I was so happy they were my students…If they started crying, I would take their face and tell them, ‘It’s going to be OK. I wanted that to be the last thing they heard, not the gunfire in the hall.”
Their stories are amazingly heroic and yet I’m confident that just about any teacher in this country would have done the same. It’s part of the job. Part of a teacher’s heart. They care. Not just about your child’s academic success, but for their safety. For their protection. For their well-being.
Teaching can be a hard job. I remember the tears, the frustration, the days that I wanted to quit. In those times, the positive notes from parents and students helped keep me going. Even though this is my 3rd year away from the classroom, I still have a special folder with those cards and letters and notes. One such letter from a parent I received during my second year teaching was framed and sat behind my desk the rest of my years in the classroom.
So, please join me on Monday, December 17, 2012 to take a moment to thank a teacher!
It can be a quick note, an email, a letter. A gift, a hug, a phone call. Just let them know how much they’re appreciated (and don’t forget the high school teachers either!). I know how hard it is to walk into a classroom after events like these. The what-ifs, the concern, the heartbreak. So, a little something special this week will probably mean the world to them!
If you work in media, join hundreds of bloggers throughout the US in recognizing Thank a Teacher Day 2012, created in loving memory of those who lost their lives in Newtown, CT, and in honor of the hundreds of thousands of teachers who would do what they did for your child.
Post this image on your website, pin it, share it! Help us to reach other parents and grandparents to thank those teachers for all that they do.
*Special thanks to Julie from Julieverse for creating the images!