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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Tragedy's Tomorrow

Tomorrow the kids and I will return to our classroom. It should be like every Monday, one in which I review last week's material while introducing new ideas.  But tomorrow's Monday will be different. Tomorrow I will need to fully focus on my students' emotional well-being and nurture them through this tragedy.

A tightrope, that is what I will walk:  needing to stress the importance of safety drills without frightening the kids; growing compassion without instilling depression; engendering political action without taking sides.

I will give them a chance to journal and draw, talk and cry.
I will give them the opportunity to angrily discuss how the daily violence in their own community is often ignored by the media.
I will keep it age-appropriate.
I will remind them that there is good, and there is kindness and there is courage on the darkest of days. And that those things exist because of choices people make.
I will reassure.
I will nod and hug.
I will coax them back to normalcy.

Tomorrow I will not test them, I will not gather or analyze data about them. I will not burden them with this month's Common Core bundle. I will share my humanity and open myself to theirs.

Tomorrow I will be inspired by the memory of people I never knew: Mary, Lauren, Rachel, Dawn, Anne Marie, and Victoria.


  1. I know the path, I've trodden it too. Trying to make the futility and loss have a purpose. Events beyond our influence or comprehension need to find a voice, need to find listening ears and hearts. But how do you steel your own? You will not come out of this the same. The axis of your world will be shifted by your compassionate heart, and tears will never be far away. All I can offer you is partnership as a stranger who has also had to counsel, listen, support, encourage and pray. I live in Tasmania, Australia. The event at Port Arthur still resonates, as do other tragedies that have affected our community...

  2. You might like my blog; ateacheronteaching. Like you, I find the experts in education annoying. I note their experience:

    Michelle Rhee--3 years in a classroom
    Arne Duncan--0
    Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg--0
    Joel I. Klein--his school chancellor--0
    Chester Finn (often quoted on education stories)--0
    Six other U. S. Secretaries of Education--0,0,0,0,0,0