The lockdown. (This is NOT a drill)

Today in Kindergarten I sat huddled with 25 children who were hiding under tables and behind bookshelves in my classroom after we were suddenly placed in lockdown. 

We were working in morning centers when we saw the police cars outside the classroom window thinking it was a typical day, as we have seen police in and out of our school since the Florida shooting. However, this time the lights were flashing and it was a bit more obvious.  

Today was different.

Today, for a brief moment, I felt that we were about to become another statistic.  Today I felt the rush of fear – the moment of panic – as my paraprofessional and I shoved  25 souls placed in our charge under tables and out view from anyone outside the room.  We knew something about the room that the children didn't realize.

Our classroom is the first one past the office. 

As we sat huddled I looked at my partner in the classroom and knew she was someone I could count on.  We whispered together the plan, if this were indeed a situation, and how we would get the children out of the classroom alive. It took one minute.  

We looked at the kids and reminded them that this was a drill.  “That being said,” I whispered, “if this was NOT A DRILL and we have to leave … THIS is what we would do.”  They listened intently and nodded their heads.

We sat quietly for what seemed like an ETERNITY, and then heard the “all clear” from the office.  It was probably 10 or 15 minutes, but honestly I still can’t breathe.  (It was NOT a drill.)

We managed to make it through the day as if it HAD been a drill, and tried very hard to keep the children in their comfortable routine.  We laughed, we reprimanded, we did Show and Tell and Kid Writing.  But we knew things would never be the same.  

I took time to hug each child very hard. I laughed at their stories and I marveled at their writing, I let them play an extra 30 minutes and then watched them write in their journals. I looked at each of them as they worked and thought about how bright their futures would be.  I thought about my own children and how much I loved them.  I thanked God for the wonderful life I have now, and then thought about my own future.

We know life is fragile.  It just sucks that something like this has to happen to remind us of that.

Peace my friends.  And don’t forget to hug your kids.


SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I still have dreams about the time it wasn't just a fire drill but a real fire and we had to get 14 pre-schoolers out.

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booksandcandy said...

I was thinking of the time where it wasn’t a drill. Our drill was supposed to be the next day. We were a day early that was my first clue. For some reason I had a walkie talkie and as I was turning it off I heard “do we have a description?” That is when my heart sunk. 2 gym classes hiding 2 teachers who didn’t hear what I heard and me a paraprofessional whose student got swept up with the classes and her peers ( thankfully) but now slightly out of my reach without causing a bit of chaos if I need to grab my student.
No more

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WOW! What a story! It's heart STOPPING. But then, after a nano-second of fear, you kick into gear. Hugs to you.

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booksandcandy said...

Thanks i forgot to add it was a bank robber up the road and that’s why we were on lockdown. Our walkies crossed over to the police radio or maybe I hit a different channel. All I know is I don’t like drills and I really don’t like drills that aren’t drills

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