Like for many of you, it felt different going back to school today. I had to take a half day for personal reasons on Friday, and found out about the Sandy Hook tragedy on the radio as I was driving away from school around noon. I am not exaggerating when I say it took all my willpower to not turn the car around and go back to school to see my kids. I had been rushing to get everything set so I could leave on time...did I smile at each one of them before I left? Did I address each one by name as I said goodbye? Did I remind my student who was having major behavior issues that day that Monday we would start fresh and that I still love him even when we're having a tough day?
I have never thought a horror like this could happen at my school. We are an all-special ed school, servicing the most severely cognitively and physically impaired students in the county. The possibility of one of our students being physically or cognitively able to commit a massacre the likes of Columbine, etc. has always been slim to none. And Sandy Hook has taken this possibility and turned it on its head. A person only remotely connected to this school entered the building and killed these innocent children and teachers. For the first time, I am very realistically aware: it could happen here. And that is terrifying. My students, though they are teens and pre-teens, are just as - if not more - vulnerable and unable to protect themselves as those precious kindergartners were.
We have lockdown drills at our school. I make them into a game for my students - kind of like the "quiet game." We have to be very quiet. We have to keep the lights off. We have to stay away from the windows. Who can do that for me? Let's see how quiet we all can be! Who can be the quietest? I have never seriously entertained the possibility of needing to put the drills into practice. Now, I do.
I hope I would be as courageous and heroic as the Sandy Hook teachers. I hope I would hide my kids well. Barricade them in. Protect them. Lie for them. Hold them if they were scared, encourage them to be quiet. Ask them to show me their smiles. I think we can all only hope to respond just as well as they did. They are heroes, all of them, every single one. My heart breaks, many times over. And I am also so fiercely proud to be a teacher right now, to call these heroes colleagues.
Teachers Supporting Teachers hosted by Little Miss Glamour Goes to Kindergarten.
From today until January 14 (one month past the shootings), all proceeds from my TPT store will go to Sandy Hook Elementary. I am linking up with Little Miss Glamour and joining her fundraising campaign. If you have anything from my store on your wishlist, now is a great time to buy - not only will you get that product you've been eyeing, but your money will go to the students and teachers at Sandy Hook.
-If you are looking to buy, click the "Teachers Supporting Teachers" banner above to shop at all the participating stores who are donating all or portions of their proceeds to Sandy Hook.
-If you are a TPT or TN seller, consider donating proceeds until January 14 to Sandy Hook, and make sure you link up @ Little Miss Glamour's post via the banner above.