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.