As a teacher, I have been put through dozens of lockdown drills in my career. I know, intellectually, everything I’m supposed to do. But emotionally, how does one cope with the fear, the panic, the threat of a hail of bullets which renders almost anyone useless?
I think of the heroic teachers who responded, in Sandy Hook, the way any loving teacher would. Everyday heroes who put the lives of those entrusted to them before their own. I know I would have done the same and I can easily say those I work with would do the same, as well.
Teachers are under media and social attack. I’m not going to write about that. Nor am I going to write about what seems to be a new “wave” of young adult males with so much anger who want to go out in a blaze of glory. Should assault weapons be banned? Of course. Should mental health be discussed and not swept under the rug? Again – of course. But I will leave that to the politicians, the psychologists, the unions and the religious leaders. It shall be discussed in great detail without my needing to add to it.
What I’d like to focus on in the next coming days is trying to continue to make my little corner of the world, including my classroom, a play of safety, joy and learning. I want to focus on the positive aspects of life, such as kindness and compassion, combined with the most essential ingredient which should be the core of our holiday season, and every day of the year – LOVE. Let’s remember to give and to receive this gift, unconditionally, fully and without reservation.
I will not let any act of evil destroy my faith in humanity. I refuse.