What can you say at a time like this? Thoughts and prayers for those poor children, families, staff, and community members in Connecticut.
I watched the news reports on and off yesterday and finally decided to not hold back the tears. I had taken a personal day, so I watched the news as it unfolded. I could not view yesterday's events with any sense of detachment. 9/11occurred the second week of my teaching career. I realized very quickly that we, as teachers of young children, bear a huge responsibility. When children are in school we are, in a way, their parents. We assume the role of ensuring their well being and putting them before ourselves.
I could not help but think of a lockdown we had exactly a week ago. An issue in the community caused us to lock our doors and not leave our rooms, but we continued our day as usually. I have an outside door in my room and I cannot convey the sense of panic I felt when the door rattled. Fortunately, it was a staff member checking to make sure it was secure.
This event brings new meaning to that lockdown. I listened to the first grade teacher whose classroom was the first after the office at that school and cried with her. Can we not all sense her fear and protectiveness as if it were our own? Have you ever tried to fit your entire class in a bathroom? I know I have because my room for three years was in full view of the doorway window and the outside windows. The blinds were set into the windows and each had to be turned repeatedly to get them to close - not practical in a lockdown situation. So, we would fit in the bathroom.
Now, as I spend my Saturday trying not to think about recent events, I keep finding myself thinking about what I would do. I will be rearranging my room on Monday. I was planning to get rid of some shelving units, but think I will keep them and place them in my room so that I can move them quickly if necessary.
I know that I will return to work with a renewed sense of purpose and of caution. So, while the politicians continue to blame teachers and dump more data collection and evaluations on us, we must remember our true purpose. Hopefully, those not in education, will see it too.
Bless the community in Connecticut, our thoughts are with you during this tragic time.