After lunch, I received news about Newtown, CT. All I knew was that there was a shooting at a school with almost 20 confirmed dead. I didn't know that it in CT, I assumed it was a High School or Middle School, never would I have imagined that it was actually an Elementary school. Knowing only the little bit that I knew, my heart ached. My heart ached for those that lost their life, the injured, those that lost their loved ones, the children and staff who had to hear/see the horrific scene. It wasn't until another teacher came into my room, asked if I knew and shared the details about the fact that it was actually an Elementary School. I didn't know what to say. I was speechless. My heart already ached at the thought of almost 20 people losing their life. Learning that it was an elementary school made it even more realistic. My heart sank to my feet, or at least that is what if felt like. Now, please don't get me wrong, it is horrific and tragic no matter where this took place, High School , Middle School, Private School, Mall, etc .... but the fact that it was an elementary school, an elementary school like the one I call my second home, that is what really broke my heart. It was even worse finding out that it was the babies of that school, the kindergarten kids, that lost their lives.
I look at this in several perspectives. One being the annoyed teacher that I was this morning and several mornings this week. Now I just feel plain guilty. I look at it as if it had been my kids and this was my last feeling before something horrific happened. I know, I am nothing near perfect, we all have our days. However, if anything tragic like this ever happened and involved any of my kids and this was the last thing I remember of them, of how I was, I don't know that I ever be able to fully forgive myself for my feelings and my ability to not be as patient as I should be. I would be completely devastated if anything were to happen to any of my kids.
My child is my world, just in case any of you were unaware of that. I could say, she would never go to public school and I would either home school her or put her in a private school (actually someone had posted that on Facebook, today) after hearing about another horrid school shooting.... but I live in a world of reality, a world where tragedy is part of everyday, unfortunately. I know that regardless of how much I try to shelter my child, I will never be able to prevent her from seeing/experiencing all of the evils of the world. Looking at the events of today's tragedy from the stance of a parent is not that different than as a teacher for me though, maybe because I look at my students as though they are actually MY children. I would be beyond devastated if anything were to happen to my child(ren). I don't know how I would cope. I don't know how I would go on. I would feel as though my world had shattered into pieces that could never be put back together.
Some people may say, if there is a God, how could he allow such an awful thing to happen? The truth is that while God is in control of a lot, many people fall to the temptation of the Devil. I believe that is what happened today. I do not know everything, but what I know though is that there is in fact a wonderful God who does love us, who will comfort us, who will try to help us put the pieces to our heart/life back together when tragedy strikes. We have a God that loves us, regardless of what we've done.
As awful as I feel about being annoyed this week, I know that my rislliant children will bounce back, love me as much on Monday as they did today, yesterday, and the day before. Teachers, remember, we are blessed, even on days we don't feel so blessed, to spend the time we have with our little ones. We are blessed to a part of such a wonderful profession that allows us to watch children grow, to protect them from the little we can, make them believe in the good things in life, and love them when there is no one else to. Parents, remember all of the above as well, YOU ARE your child's first teacher, you are their life long teacher. Hug them, kiss them, snuggle with them, tell them you love them, and most of all share the story of their almighty God with them. When there is nothing else to believe in, he is there for them (and us) to fall back on.
Needless to say, I'm praying. Praying for the victims. Praying for the families of the vicitims. Praying for comfort. Praying for peace. Praying for answers. Praying for understanding. Praying for our country.