One year ago, I was substituting in a kindergarten classroom.
One year ago, I took the kids to their special, and went to check my email.
One year ago, I broke down in tears before going to get the kids.
Before one year ago, I didn’t know that such a tragedy would ever happen.
From the moment I first read the news, my heart sunk.
It sunk for the children who had to live this.
It sunk for the family members who didn’t know what was happening.
It sunk for the teachers who had to act fast to protect these kids.
It sunk because I was unsure how I would’ve acted in those moments.
When I walk into a school, each and every day, it is my job to protect the students I work with.
It is my job to teach them, and be there for them.
But would I have acted in the same way that those heroes did?
Would I have been able to act fast enough to get the kids into the bathroom?
One year ago, I was in a room that had cabinets that children could have been stuffed into.
The classroom had a bathroom in it, too, that I wonder if I would have thought about using to protect the students.
No one teaches you how to react in these matters.
No one is going to be there telling you what to do.
You have to trust your gut that you are doing what is best for everyone.
Those teachers are heroes.
Those children are heroes.
For all they did that day.
My heart still breaks for the families of those children who died.
They dropped off their children, and went on with their day.
Without ever thinking it was possible, some of them never had the chance to say another word to them.
Those families are also the victims.
I pray I am never in a situation like this, but I also pray that I will know how to react and protect those students that I am with. I completely agree that students become a different set of children to us, too. We spend more time with them during the week than they probably see their parents. They each mean the world to us, and to see any student die by learning, by having fun, by being themselves at school, it breaks everyone’s heart, especially teachers as we can all relate.
As we reflect on Sandy Hook this year, I want you today is to tell someone you love them.
Tell someone they mean the world to you.
Don’t wait, because you never know what could happen.
Just like that, your life could flash before your eyes, and you don’t want to have regrets.
Today, think about the children who died doing what they had fun doing.
Think about the teachers who fought for those students, and treated them like their own.
Say a prayer for all of those affected by this tragedy.
Say a prayer for all the families who have to relive this each year.
Say a prayer for the families as they face another Christmas, which is sure to be a hard time each year.
If you have students, remember the teachers that are there for them everyday. Take a minute to think about how much they love your child. Take a minute next time you see those teachers to just say thank you. Tell them thank you for protecting your children everyday, all day.
No questions today. Spend time with your loved ones.