It Could Have Been My Class

Yesterday’s mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut has hit me hard. I have had an impossible time holding it together. I knew there was a shooting before I went to school, but didn’t know details and could not let it affect my day with my students. We carried on as usual…tweeting with our friends around the world, laughing, joking, writing, getting our letters from Santa in the mail, reading with our Big Buddies, singing songs and preparing our dance for Monday’s assembly. I didn’t know that across the continent a situation was unfolding that would shake me to the core.

Finding out that many of the victims in the shooting were in Kindergarten sent my world into a tailspin. How could anyone senselessly open fire on little children?!? Why??? My heart hurts and my brain can’t understand it at all. IT COULD HAVE BEEN MY CLASS.

A huge part of being a teacher is loving my students. I teach the curriculum, but above all else, I try to teach my students to be kind, caring, loving human beings. I want them to know that I love them and everything I teach them, I teach out of love and caring for them. To find out that teachers at Sandy Hook School lost their lives protecting their students tells me that they LOVED their students. They are heroes.

We have practised lockdown drills at our school and every time we do, I have little ones who are afraid of sitting in the dark. Keeping a five year old quiet is near impossible, so I try to make a game of it…hide and seek on a very important, amplified level. After yesterday’s shooting, lockdown drills will take on a more emotional angle for me. What if I ever had something happen like this in MY school? We will practise our fire, earthquake and lockdown drills and we will be prepared. It is my sincere hope that we will never have to use those emergency preparedness skills.

So what now? We mourn the loss of innocent students and teachers, but what can I do? I can’t change the US gun laws, nor can I help the community of Newtown that has suffered such a tragic loss, except pray for their emotional healing. What I CAN DO is let the parents of my students know that I would protect their children like I would protect my own. I would do anything in my power to make sure their children are SAFE, CARED FOR and LOVED, no matter how dire or scary the situation. I am a Kindergarten teacher and that is MY JOB.

10 thoughts on “It Could Have Been My Class

  1. Hopefully parents know that by are actions and interactions with their children. We are both advocates for their children working together to try a make a better world for them and us.

  2. Well written Michelle. You are an amazing teacher and even more so, an amazing individual who has articulated your personal and professional sentiments in a heartfelt manner. You are the type of teacher every one of our kids deserve. Praying that you never have to go through something like this.

  3. Michelle you are one amazing woman! We have been so lucky and blessed to have you as a teacher to our children! As I read this I had tears streaming down my face, as I thought about the WHAT IF as well. I have a complete comfort knowing that Ryan is in your care and you would do anything to protect him and keep him safe. Thank You!

  4. Michelle, thank you for sharing your heartfelt thoughts on this senseless tragedy. As the story unfolded on Friday I found myself frequently in tears and it breaks my heart to know how deeply so many of our wonderful teachers must have been impacted by this event. For me, leaving my child everyday, not knowing what the day will bring for her, always creates a little emotional tug-a-war but knowing that she is cared for, that she is loved at school gives me enormous peace of mind. Thank you for all that you do.

    • Thank you, Lisa. Above all else, I want what is best in every way for all of my students and part of that is making sure they are protected and safe at school. As a parent, I, too, wonder about how my own kids are doing at school, so I know the trust it takes to allow someone else to spend so much time with your child.

  5. Michelle we are so grateful to have you in Kaitlyn’s life!! You are absolutely amazing and I have no doubt in my mind how loved by you all of your kindergarteners are. Your post left me in tears, however, I have found comfort in reading it knowing now without certainty that my child will be protected and safe at school while in your care.

    • Jen, thank you so much for your kind words and your hug this morning! I hesitated in sharing this with you and the other parents, but I am so glad I did. I feel vulnerable in sharing my feelings, but I need you all to now that I would give my life for your children, just as those heroic teachers did in Newtown. Your children are all so precious!

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