12/18/12

The best way to honor an incredible soul? Be one yourself.



I walked into my school last Sunday to prepare for the week.  Sure, it was Sunday, but many teachers go to their classrooms that day to prepare for their week in the peace and quiet.

But it was different.


I noticed other cars in the parking lot, but I wasn’t in the mood to chat. Even though I am the chatting QUEEN, and love my new team, I just didn't have it in me.  And frankly, neither did they. 



I walked down the long hallway, noticing the eerie quiet of the school.  I turned the lights on in my room and sat at my work-table.  I had things to do to prepare for the teddy bear cottage activity planned for Monday morning, and got right to it. I glued the milk cartons to the plates, and when I was done I sat quietly at my table.


I found myself glancing around the room, thinking about where I could hide my children if we were attacked.  The closets were full, and I didn’t have access to a bathroom.  I looked anxiously for places to hide them, but most were obvious choices and not going to fool anyone with an agenda.  Then, I glanced at my windows.  I realized that I could throw chairs through the windows and toss the children out like bags of laundry.  Until I realized that the windows opened easily, and I could simply pop the screens out.   It made me smile a bit to think of the easier option.


And then reality set in.


Bullets don’t wait for you to toss twenty children out a window.



And I grabbed the box of tissues, and wiped the tears.



Again.




25 comments:

ChiTown Girl said...

{{{hugs}}}

Ellie Mae said...

It is so ludicrous that teachers even have to think about this. Such a terrible tragedy. My heart aches.

Sheila said...

Sending love and hope your way...

Anne said...

I was home with a sick kid on Friday, so I spent most of the day wrestling with too much media and too few answers. Our district had an emergency meeting to address a unified approach to a variety of student, parent, media situations we may face. I was blessed and relieved to find that none of my first graders had been exposed to all the media. That being said, I was still emotionally exhausted when I got home. I crawled into bed and fell asleep at 7:30. There is not a single teacher that hasn't run through that exact scenario a hundred times since Friday. God bless all of our children and God bless the adults who protect them at teachers, day care providers, coaches, etc.

Gigi said...

And this made me cry. Again.

Have had you (and all the teachers I know) in my thoughts for the past few days.

Brian Miller said...

feel you...was odd going back this week...we have experienced so much loss as a school it was one more thing...another hit to the boxer in the ring...so hard...

otin said...

The situation is so sad. I wrote a poem about it at my place. It must be really difficult to be a teacher and watch these things keep happening.

Suzy said...

Empty the closet. Add a lock on the inside. If for no other reason than peace of mind. For you, for the parents, for the children.

E said...

oh I am so sorry that these are things that even have to be thought about.

Lorraine said...

As children we practiced hiding under the desk in case of a nuclear attack (I know, I'm showing my age). Like a desk was going to protect us from a nuclear bomb. Now we practice hiding in closets - out of sight. We have buzzers and cameras and think they're going to make a difference. The police chief tells the administration at a meeting of the crisis response team on Monday that no matter what we do, if someone wants to get into the school, they will. The principal tells us, the office staff, we're sitting ducks. We had thought about that for a long time already. "Things like that don't happen in an elementary school" they said. You can have one panic button - that's all we can afford they said - and where did they put it? Not at the front desk. Was that because they were thinking the person at the front desk would never have a chance to use it? I begged for a second one and got it. Now the discussion is whether we need one in every room.

Now they want to listen to suggestions. Now they want to consider having unannounced drills. Now they say "it could happen here." Now.

I pray for those precious angels who lost their lives and their heroic teachers and administrators who sacrificed themselves trying to keep the children safe. I pray for the children and staff who were there in the building, who witnessed first-hand, if only by sound the horror as it played out. I pray for the families of them all whose hearts will be forever wounded. I pray for the community in Connecticut. For their loss of their loved ones as well as the loss of their peace. I pray for the education community. May we never have to be faced with another tragedy such as this.

This is long and I apologize. Some of these things I can't say on my blog because of our "social media policy". Thank you for listening.

Laura said...

I've been thinking of you, VM, and all of the other teachers I know, and of my four school-aged kids in their four classrooms in two schools, and it's all just too much! Praying for peace, for all of us. ((((Hugs))))

Anonymous said...

You might want to change the last line in your bio information. I know it's meant to be light-hearted and I love your sense of humor, but it's eerie, now.

So. Cal. Gal said...

It's sad that you have to think of 'a way out' now. People suck sometimes. But I have a kindergarten teacher friend who said, "I usually shake a hand or give a hug, depending on what my kids want. On Monday, I insisted on giving everyone a hug."

noexcuses said...

My heart aches for you and for teachers everywhere. This has touched everyone. God Bless you VM!

Deb Thaxton said...

-->I told my kindergartner on Monday morning that if his teacher wants to hug him a little longer to LET HER. He still doesn't understand why I did the same all weekend.

deb
www.websavvymom.com

The Girl Next Door said...

I don't know how to get my head around the immense sadness, the guilt (for not "doing" sometime to prevent this? Like I could? From Florida?), the grief. How teachers like you show up and cope is beyond me. Thanks Vodka mom for all you do every day. I have always been a HUGE "teacher admirer" even before I had my own kids. Now, "admire" doesn't begin to touch it. Hugs.

CSY said...

Vodka, I love you! I love ALL the teachers my children interact with, because THEY know my children and love my children almost as much as I do. My "Aspies" son asked why I was crying Friday and why I insisted on giving my 3 kids an extra long hug, when I told him about the vents that had happened he shook his head and said, "Another one?"...My prayers and love are headed North.

Marissa said...

I used to work in a jewelry store and friends would always tell me they worried about me at work. Ironically, one worked at a bank and two are teachers. I always worried about the three of them more.

The face that there are so many great teachers like you out there reassures me that my child will have a good education; the fact that we have to worry about you guys lets me know that we need to open our mouths to work on a solution to the problem. Whether it's better mental health resources or gun control, or a combination of the two, the founding fathers who wrote the Constitution would agree. They may have wanted a right to bear arms, but there is no way they anticipated the guns that are on the market now.

Hugs back to you, VM--two for every one you've given out to your students this week.

Caroline said...

This post is for you, my friend whom I've never met.
http://caroline67.typepad.com/some_pig/2012/12/elementary.html

G. B. Miller said...

Yup.

Been wall-to-wall media coverage here in Connecticut about it, and frankly, it would be nice if they scaled it back just a little bit.

Btw, they had about 8 funerals yesterday (12/19) and I believe that the Governor and other dignatories attended.

Also, a few of the teachers had police honor guards as well.

MANDI said...

I've been watching it from the other side of world and thinking of you. And thinking of my husband who is a teacher and would do anything for 'his' kids. And for my own kids as I'v taken them to school each day. My heart breaks for the parents and families in Newtown.

Zakary said...

Oh my heart.

I know this week must have been so hard, but it makes me so happy that there are teachers out there that would do anything for kids at school.

xx

Anonymous said...

With so much matricide occurring, we'll never make that joke again:/ I noticed.

Joanie said...

I've thought of you so many times this past week and prayed for you and your school kids.

Big hugs!

LegalMist said...

I'm glad to know you've got at least a little bit of a plan, just in case... that is good for peace of mind, I'm sure... But the more important thing for your sanity and general happiness may be to realize that, although these things seem to happen "all the time" because we hear about it so much in the media, the fact is that school shootings are extremely rare and the likelihood of it happening to you is between slim and none. So don't let the media get you down. Don't let it keep you from being and acting normal and letting the kids play just like always. Don't dwell on the negative; create the positive (like you always do)!

Merry Christmas!