Thea comes home today from school and tells me all about the drill she had. “Mom, we had to lock the door and sit really quiet.” My heart seems to stop for a second when I realize that type of drill she had to practice for the very first tine. 4 years old and she is being trained in what to do in case of an armed intruder at her school.
To her, it was no big deal, she was excited that the principal checked on them and told them they did a good job. To me, I can’t help but think that she is on the second floor, there is glass in the door and where would they go in case something were to happen. Where could they hide? Who would protect her and bring her back to me.
My aunt is visiting from Denmark so my mom and I mention it to her. This is the reality we live in over here, where we teach in places that could become scenes of absolute devastation. Even in Madison, Wisconsin. She asks me if I think any of my students would ever be capable of something like this. No, they wouldn’t, but I don’t know who would. No one ever seems to until it is too late.
I think about my classroom, my 27 kids that I get to be with every day, and what I would do in this situation. I realize that I would protect them at any cost, or at least I hope I would have the courage to protect them, so that their parents would know they were safe with me.
Sometimes being a teacher is more than just teaching. It is knowing that we would give up everything for those we teach. I am humbled by my realization.
I am a passionate (female) 5th grade teacher in Wisconsin, USA, proud techy geek, and mass consumer of incredible books. Creator of the Global Read Aloud Project, Co-founder of EdCamp MadWI, and believer in all children. I have no awards or accolades except for the lightbulbs that go off in my students’ heads every day. First book “Passionate Learners – Giving Our Classroom Back to Our Students Starting Today” will be released this fall from PLPress. Follow me on Twitter @PernilleRipp.