After the events in Newtown, CT on Friday I have to admit that going to work on Monday was pretty darn hard. I work in a small school, but like probably everyone working in any school, you’re mind can’t be too far off thinking about the “what ifs.” It may not be likely, but I’m sure if you asked anyone in Newtown at 9:29 a.m. last Friday, if they thought this violence was likely, I would venture to guess every single person would have said no.
Monday morning was the hardest morning I have ever had in my entire teaching career. Political problems aside I was going to be at the meeting my principal called for 8:45 – some things are just much bigger than politics! We had a quick debrief of what we should do and talk about with our students should the conversations arise – and they did. I have wonderful and supportive administrators who also stressed that it was just as important for us to take care of ourselves because we are just as important and if we need help to please seek it – in the same way were we to direct students and families. It was a hard way to start the week but it was so nice to know that our admin were looking out for us in a way we never would have expected.
I have allowed myself to cry over the events, but I have also tired to limit myself from the information that I have read and seen. I turned off the television on Friday pretty early and we left the house for the evening, my stomach just couldn’t take any more. It still seems a little surreal.
I’ve allowed myself to cry over the good too. I cried when Survivor had a moment of silence during the live show on Sunday. I cried when I read that Jet Blue helped get letters across the country in time for Noah Pozner’s funeral on Monday.
I started to get teary in front of a student today who was having problems with some other students. She was just so very upset. Part of the problem, she said, was that she was angry about something but wasn’t ready to talk about it. That’s when I started to get teary, I let her know that when she was ready my door would always be open if she wanted to talk because it was important that she talk to someone.
And then I saw this…what a beautiful tribute done by “The Voice.” I finally didn’t cry, but that’s not to say the tears are done.
Teaching is a hard enough job without having to think about the what ifs. I am so proud of the teachers who protected their students and in the cases of those who lost their lives, they are truly heroes in my eyes – they died doing something they love, protecting the children they love. They, along with the 20 little darlings, will be missed by their families forever. I just hope it wasn’t all in vain…I hope this sparks a change that evidently needs to happen.