being a teacher, being me

And Yet…

On the morning of the kickoff to the largest Global Read Aloud yet.  On the morning of what should have been a happy Monday,  One where more than 2 million students would connect through the invisible threads of a read aloud.  One where a global project kicked off that is focused on perspective, understanding, acceptance, kindness, empathy, and everything that is good about our world, we are instead faced with the news of another mass shooting.

Once again the largest in newer US history.  And I spend my day in front of my computer not checking in on the Global Read Aloud, but instead seeing the death toll rise higher, the injured numbers climb, and the desperate pleas for someone to do something.

And we do; we send our thoughts and prayers,  We donate our blood, and then we say to not make it political.  That now is not the time for action out of respect for the tragedy.

And yet, tomorrow I will send my children to school knowing that they have to do active shooter drills in their classrooms so that they can be prepared for the worst.

And yet, I will ask my son about these drills and he will tell me that he did a great job being quiet mom, so the “bad guy can’t get me…”  And I will smile and tell him good job but inside I will rage and tremble.  This is my child, these are my most precious, and they are being taught to sit silently, hoping to not become victims.

And yet, I will go through training in my own district for what I can do to try to protect the very kids I teach. I will be told I have an option to fight or to hide, and that no one will fault me for making the wrong decision.

And I will tell my friends, who sit in my home nation of Denmark, that I am afraid again.  That I am not sure this country is really sane anymore.  That I am not sure I am really able to protect anyone because all it takes is one person with a weapon.

And yet, this is not the time to be political.  So when is it?  Because I am ready, because I am afraid, and I don’t want my children to have to wonder what will happen when they go to school, or a movie theater, or a mall, or a concert, or on a plane, or walk down the street.



6 thoughts on “And Yet…”

  1. So honestly written and what so many of us who educate children are thinking…feeling sad for our nation.

  2. Your thoughts echo what we are all feeling. What is safe? I take comfort in knowing as educators, parents and grandparents we have a direct role to play in raising compassionate, literate, loving human beings. Where are we going wrong? How does this happen? The conversations we have with our children after such a horrific event are so important.

  3. And yet…the GRA is a phenomenon that connects kids world wide and reminds them that we are all connected, and not just by a book. It shows them that we all feel afraid, and sad, and heartbroken by world events and events in our own lives. But, we go on, and we go on believing in the good in each other and the positive things we can all do to make the world a better place. Keep on, keeping on. Good will prevail, and the work you are doing is a very good thing.

  4. My dear friend…
    Your posts the past few days have made my heart ache because I am honestly feeling so much doubt and so much sadness.
    Our financial planner Steve Berger was killed in the shooting. He had worked with us for several years. I didn’t know him beyond our working relationship, but he was a kind, hard-working, genuine man that I trusted and respected. He was great at his job. And he is a dad. Of three young children: 8, 11, 13. He was in Vegas celebrating his 44th birthday with friends. They saw him get hit and lost track of each other in the chaos. He was missing until Tuesday. He had been at our house less than a week before the massacre. And I keep seeing his smiling face everywhere I look. And I also see the serious look of my eleven year old when he heard my husband and me talking through tears of disbelief. How do I say with honesty that this awful nightmare is rare and that he is safe when it happens with such regularity that even I can’t help thinking it was only months ago that we were sending our “thoughts and prayers” to another city, another community? I’m at a loss. I am filled with darkness and I am desperately seeking the light.
    Sending you a hug. Thank you for sharing your heart.

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