I am not posting Links to Love this Monday because I am still thinking about Friday’s tragedy in a small Connecticut elementary school. I have been thinking about the courage of the teachers and administrators of that school and the courage of the little kids who probably don’t even know what the word means. I am thinking of the first responders who’s bravery helped save so many lives that would have been lost. As I watch the news, I am thinking of myself too.
It sounds selfish but I am a teacher too. I went into school this morning to set up for another day that felt normal but it really wasn’t. I greeted 22 smiling and innocent faces who searched my room for their “elf on a shelf.” We counted Kwanzaa candles and found the rhymes in The Night Before Christmas. It was a normal day, only it wasn’t. I am immensely grateful that my children don’t know. Not one child mentioned the shooting today. Their childhood will be so different than the same kindergarten class in Connecticut and every time I saw their faces, even that time during a particularly bad temper tantrum at the reading station, I think how lucky we are to be here, in school and here with our friends and family.
My heart hurts to think of the teachers that protected their students. Even though I am sad, I know I would do the exact same thing. I would protect my students because, as a teacher, you love them. You want them to learn, to succeed, and to grow up to be the wonderful person you see inside that little body. So I am a teacher too and I know the love a teacher has for her students. I am sad that it actually happened, that a teacher had to protect her students, even though you knew she would. She is a hero and I’m proud to be a teacher and a faraway colleague.
I know I will go to school and think about Connecticut again tomorrow. I will look at the little sleepy faces around my carpet at morning meeting and try not to think about the tragedies that could happen today, tomorrow, some time in their lifetime. I will be thankful that those tragedies are not for this day. I will just be grateful and a little selfish that my classroom is here, my kids are here, I am here.