I has been four days already and I still cannot read a single news article about the school shooting in Connecticut without crying.
I am a youth worker, have taught in higher education classrooms here in Scotland and have spent time as a substitute (and early learning music and art) teacher in the US. My family is full of educators; my mom, cousins and sister are teachers.
On facebook this week, my sister posted something her colleague written and I needed to share it with the world. Although the relationships she writes about cannot protect people, they certainly do help keep people together when tragedy means they need something to trust.
To parents who are not educators, this may be hard to understand–
Five days a week, we teach your kids. That means we educate your kids. Play with your kids. Discipline your kids. Joke with your kids. Console your kids. Praise your kids. Question your kids. Beat our heads against a wall about your kids. Gush over your kids. Laugh with your kids. Worry about your kids. Keep an eye on your kids. Learn about your kids. Invest in your kids. Protect your kids. Love your kids.
We would all take a bullet for your kids.
It is nowhere in our job description. It isn’t covered in the employee handbook. It isn’t cited in our contracts. But we would all do it. So–yes–please hug your kids tonight. Really, really tight. And on Monday, if you see your kids’ teacher, hug them too. Thanks.
From educator Pam McAnally, USA.