Like many teachers around the world, last night, I did not sleep well. Tossing and turning all night, thinking about those kindergarteners, probably much like the ones in my own classroom, I woke up many times with different thoughts.
First, I remembered reading about one teacher’s recount of her horrifying moments and how, above all else, she wanted her students to know they were loved.
A first grade teacher who survived the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School broke down during an interview after recounting that she had told her students she loved them because she wanted it to be the last thing they would hear.
First grade teacher Kaitlin Roig said she was not sure if it was appropriate for a teacher to tell her students that she loved them but she feared she was going to be killed along with the children.
I would like to have Ms. Roig’s thoughts on the subject to be a lesson to us all. Not only teachers of the very young, but, even older students. I’d argue, not only should your students feel loved, you should tell them. Every day. There are some kids who I know need to hear it multiple times – and I make sure they do. But at bus time, before each child leaves, when I hand them their folder, give them a hug and tell them I love them. Each and every one.
In another of my fits of sleeplessness, a song came to me. It’s an older song, not very well known, or particularly a favorite of mine, that literally, just popped into my head. At this time, when we’re all feeling sad, confused, angry, devastated – always remember, if there’s ever an answer, it’s more love.