Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Teacher's Thoughts about Going Back to School

I apologize if this seems like random thoughts, because it is.  I have so many thoughts, I can't keep them straight.  I hope you can.

How can anyone drop a child off at school tomorrow?  I have been sitting here asking myself this question over and over again.  Could I drop my child off?

I didn't expect to be this emotional tonight.  As I was getting ready for bed, all I could think about was the different options I have in my classroom for keeping my students safe.  This is not something a teacher, or anyone, should ever have to think about.

Last week, one of our vocabulary words was refuge.  We were talking about it meaning "a safe place."  I remember telling the students that they should look at school almost like a refuge, because it's a safe place for them.  If that was a vocabulary word this coming week, I definitely wouldn't be using that same analogy.

As freaked out as I am as a teacher to go to school tomorrow, my heart is with parents who will be reluctantly dropping students off tomorrow.  I know it will be gut-wrenching to watch them leave the car and walk into school.  (I can't believe this is what we've come to!)

I don't know that I would send my child to school tomorrow, but would keeping them home make life any safer?

No.  No one is promised tomorrow.

James 4:14 says, "Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes."

So, even though part of me may want to stay curled up in my couch in a fetal position tomorrow, I wouldn't be any safer than I am at school.  I would also be showing my students that it's okay to let fear win.  (That said, if you make the choice to keep your child home, I absolutely do not blame you.  Since I don't have any children, I don't honestly know what I would do.)

By going to school tomorrow, our kids will know that idiot jerk-face cowards don't win.  We will show the world that we are brave.  We will honor the 26 killed at Sandy Hook by not letting fear rule the day.

I can't promise a lot about tomorrow, but I can promise the following:

I can promise that I will greet all of my students with a huge smile and a comforting hug tomorrow morning.  I promise that in the event of something unthinkable happening, I will put their lives before my own.  I promise to look at each one of them from the perspective of their parents.  I promise to see the best in them.  I promise to be the best teacher I know how to be.  I promise to send them home with a smile on their face.

God bless the families in Connecticut who have broken hearts tonight.

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