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Friday, December 14, 2012

Let me start by saying that I am a retired teacher. In all of my college classes and during my Practice Teaching experience, I do NOT remember any of my professors informing me that I would not only be teaching my subject matter to my students, but I would also need to know what to do to protect them from being shot while in my classroom. There were HEROES in Newtown, CT. today........and they were whoever turned on the intercom to warn of the danger present in the school office and the teachers who heard that warning and locked their doors and did whatever they could to protect their students. One of the teachers (I think that she was a first-year teacher) not only locked her classroom door, but also baracaded it with a table and when the police came to her door much later, wouldn't open it until they slid their badges under it so she could make sure they were who they said they were!!!
It makes me very sad when I overhear people talking or read in the newspaper or hear someone on TV saying such negative things about teachers. Some of the classics are, "How can they only teach for 9 months of the year and be paid for 12? Wouldn't that be a good gig? There would be a lot more people in teaching if that were the fact! For those who still believe this, teachers are only paid for the days that they are face-to-face with students. They DO NOT get paid vacations. When they are off for Thanksgiving or Christmas or Easter, they are NOT being paid for those days. There is also the misconception that when we work from 8 to 4, we are done. NOT TRUE........there are papers and projects to grade, labs to prepare for, lessons for the various "Special" students who need extra attention and are among all of the rest of the class in what are now over-crowded classrooms in many schools.
I loved teaching. I also invited the parents of my students to come and join us whenever possible so that they could experience what it was like to be "In School" and especially, in my classroom. This was such a good thing because then they knew that teaching WASN'T the EASY job that many thought it was.
And, speaking of TEACHING. Oh what a wonderful day it was when it was possible to actually teach without "Other things" taking more attention. For example..........there was the High School Junior girl that I had to alert the office about whenever she needed to leave my room to use the restroom because she was suicidal and we couldn't let her out of our sight. Or, the Senior boy, who lived in a group home and had been threatened by a gang. This boy wanted to quit the gang and the gang informed him that there was NO QUITTING!!!!! They treatened to kill him whenever the chance presented itself. I had him as a student in three of my classes. All of the doors in the High School were locked. We could get out, but no one could get in. The only door open to the Public was the one right next to the Office. We actually had seminars dedicated to what we would do if we perceived a threat.
Teaching isn't like it was when I started. Now a teacher definitely has to wear many hats.............and, unfortunately..........also bullet-proof vests!!! I truly feel that our teachers are HEROES on a daily basis, and don't get the recognition that they deserve.

My heart goes out to all of the victims and their families in Newtown, CT. And my unanswered question is still "Why?" What has happened that there is so much violence? What has that EVER accomplished?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I feel the same way you do... What is the world becoming? Why is it happening again and again? My prayers to all the victims and their families in Newtown, CT.

    emoticon emoticon
    1892 days ago
  • FLAME42
    I am also a retired teacher....we used to be able to teach, appreciate our students, and work with the parents. Things are soooo different in schools today. My daughter teaches 4/5 yr. olds and my son taught HS math for several years. As you so aptly put it in your blog the world of teaching and attending school has changed.
    My prayers are for the whole community in CT AND our WHOLE COUNTRY.
    1893 days ago
    My grandfather taught, my cousin taught, my niece is a teacher, her MIL is a teacher, my sister is a former teacher, now a director of a private school... so I know exactly what you mean. Teachers work too darn hard and are too often denigated for their efforts. God bless teachers everywhere, and especially those in Sandy Hook.
    1893 days ago
    need strict gun laws
    1894 days ago
    Well said.
    1895 days ago
    It is so tragic and insane. I hope the perpetrator left a message somewhere as to why.
    I think gun laws need to be revised and tightened but when it comes down to it if a madman wants to he'll find a way.
    My heart and prayers are with those caught up in this terrible incident.
    1895 days ago
  • 123ELAINE456
    Awesome Blog. I agree with You. Why? God Bless You and Have a Nice Day. Take Care.
    1895 days ago
  • EWL978
    The tragedy is that sooner or later it's going to happen all over again!! A showing of Lincoln was cancelled last week in the local theater because someone wrote on her ticket that there was a bomb planted and gave it to one of the guys working there.... Police dogs, officers with guns drawn, and nothing happened, thank goodness...but what did this person get out of this?? Jollies??

    Those poor innocent lambs...and their parents and families. Those teachers who were live heroes and the ones who didn't make it...wasted lives...sadness and those left behind will never be the same.

    isn't it time that something is done to bring some sanity to the world?? I know the NRA has a huge lobby but even they want it.
    1895 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/14/2012 10:39:05 PM
    I am sure there is going to be much media speculation for some time to come about the "WHY's" of this horrible tragedy. It just is so difficult helping our kids feel safe and loved in this world with such violence.

    Heart and soul cry for those families in CT. Prayers for the many heroes. Many say it could have been worse, but this scenario IS the definition of worse.
    1895 days ago
    It is very sad emoticon
    1895 days ago
    1895 days ago
    It's completely unimagineable what would bring a twenty year old to the point of killing his mother, then 20 young kids, and seven others. I actually feel chills writing about this. We just have to do our best, Glenn
    1895 days ago
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