As I work to gather my thoughts about the horrific tragedy that happened on Friday, I can hardly think of anything that hasn’t already been said or thought or cried. It’s unimaginable and unthinkable, yet it happened. And all many of us can do now is to grieve and send love to those that are hurting, in Connecticut and everywhere.
But there is more that we can do in addition to grieving. In addition to praying, and sending healing thoughts.
Yes, we MUST talk about gun control. And yes, we should absolutely talk about the state of mental heath services. But also, we can make sure that every day and in every way possible we are showing love to those around us, that we are teaching empathy, and compassion and kindness.
As an elementary school teacher, a teacher of 6 and 7 year olds, this tragedy sincerely hit home for me. What if that was my school? What if those were my littles? What if that had happened to me? These thoughts and so many more have been running through my head constantly this weekend. Sometimes the images are so real that I have to stop to catch my breath.
Those innocent kids should not have had to die. It’s absolutely unfair and beyond confusing and most of all, it’s just plain messed up. I have cried a hundred tears and will surely cry a hundred more for the parents of those children who will not get to see their littles grow up into the people they were meant to be.
And then today, after I received a thoughtful and appreciative email from a parent, a whole new wave of emotions started to fall over me. I realized that tomorrow I will have to go to school in the morning. I will spend the day with my beloved little 6 and 7 year olds and it is my job do everything in my power to assure them that they are safe, and protected, and loved.
It’s the most important job, and I am proud and honored to do it.
I’ve been spending the day researching how to deal with tragedies around children.
I’ve been calling friends and family to help me work through the details of tomorrow. What will I say? How will I respond? And how will being back in school make me feel?
It won’t come easy, but I will do it, and I will try my best to do it well. Teachers everywhere will.
Send a little love to us, okay?
If you’re interested in some of the resources I found, I’ve linked to some of the best and most helpful to me below…
Talking with Students in Response to the Sandy Hook Shooting (There is a script for teachers in this one.)
I will carry the memory of those fallen children with me forever and I will carry the bravery of those Sandy Hook teachers, principal, and school psychologist with me throughout the rest of my days. They are heros in the hearts of people everywhere and their dedication to their students will shine on.