I’ve waited a whole week since the massacre in Florida to post my thoughts. I’m going to leave the gun talk to others and focus on what I know in my heart, teachers are heroes – three of the seventeen killed in Florida last week were teachers and reports are they were doing what we all know we’d do in the same situation – literally giving their lives to save their students.
Because our students are so much more than simply ‘students’ – they’re our kids, our children, our sprouts. During the roughly nine months we have them in class, they become family to us, a part of our hearts. We watch them grow in front of us and then after, and sometimes even after-after with visits and card and photos from parents and high school graduation invites and beyond. So when I hear about teachers putting themselves in between a bullet and a student, it saddens me beyond belief, but it doesn’t shock me one bit.
Do I believe teachers should be armed? With counselors and supplies and support and love and money, yes money, to buy the things their students need, and oh right, arm them with salaries worthy of the work they do each day and then arm them with the dignity and respect that comes from knowing they’d literally die for their students.
My hope is we never stop feeling shocked or saddened by these events. When I hear the voices of the students rising up, honoring the memories of their friends, demanding action, organizing and planning, I have real hope for the future. Clearly their teachers and parents are doing something right, clearly, they are learning and becoming amazing adults, exactly what their teachers have strived for.
So as hard as it is, I’m going to try and focus on the love – the love those teachers had for their students and the hope, the hope those students achieve exactly what they’re aiming for – real change.