Teachers work incredibly hard to create safe and welcoming classrooms. We pay attention to how students interact with each other, implement zero-tolerance policies on bullying, and greet students with smiles as they walk in the door. All in the name of love, all in the name of learning.
And then something as devastating as the Connecticut tragedy happens.
Schools are supposed to be sacred. No matter what’s happening outside, in our little classrooms we can close the door and feel like the world is changing. We can create communities where everyone feels included. We become like family.
And that family extends beyond our classroom walls. When a tragedy happens at a school, it’s heartbreaking for everyone. But for educators, parents, and students it’s excruciating.
I spent much of Friday caring for my sick 10-month-old baby. But while I was holding her I was thinking of the parents at Sandy Hook Elementary who won’t be able to hold their babies again. It’s too tragic. It’s too much.
Nothing good can come out of this tragedy. It’s unthinkable, senseless, and painful. But you can take this opportunity to hold your students extra close. Show how much you care about them. Continue making your classroom a safe haven, a place where students feel welcomed and loved.
We can’t guarantee that nothing bad will ever happen, but teachers do have the unique power to nurture the development of incredible human beings. In this week before winter break, spend a little extra time loving your students. No matter what may be going on outside, help students find joy and peace in your classroom. And keep sending love to our extended family at Sandy Hook Elementary.