How did I address this tragedy in class? I hugged every last child in my classroom as he/she left for the weekend and told them that they matter, that I love them, and that they make this world better by being in it. They left smiling, believing, and feeling validated. #partofthesolution
Jolie Barker- Passionate Educator
As the world watches in horror and tries to process the day’s events, every parent in the country waits for their child to come home just so they can hug them a little bit tighter or tell them a little bit louder how much they matter, and love them.
Families and communities will come together in hopes of finding a way through this tragedy, and we will see the best of humanity emerge as we work to support and comfort all those who experienced this senselessness first hand.
And come Monday morning, these students will arrive in your classroom with the following questions going through their minds:
- Am I safe?
- Could this happen here?
- Could this happen to me?
- What if someone came to our school?
- What if you cannot protect me?
- Why do things like this happen?
- Am I going to be okay?
- Are we going to be okay?
There is no lesson plan for that. There is no magic strategy or super app that can look children in the face and assure them that the world will be well again.
Thank God for teachers. Thank God you know what to do. Thank God you do what you do.
You have just been reminded of why we are indispensable and why no one can simply walk in off the street and do our work. You are in this position of privilege to do one thing like no other person on earth can do: TEACH
You touch hearts every day.
You will look into their eyes, and they will see in yours that you love them.
You will be the voice of reason and hope. The words you share and the silence your endure will be the catalyst for the healing ahead.
You will assure them with your poise and presence that the world is a beautiful place.
You will remind them as you speak about this horrific and unspeakable event that there is a giving and loving community ready to ban together in force to ensure this never happens again.
You will calm their fears by showing them a great school filled with wonderful teachers, leaders, parents and students who are willing to protect and preserve its every member.
You will be human with them. Allowing yourself to mourn along side of them demonstrating how strong and secure one can be in the midst of our hearts breaking.
You will TEACH. You will not need a lesson plan, a reminder of that standard it covers, or any special technology.
You will do what you are born to do. You will do what you are called to do. You will do what students need you to do.
YOU WILL TEACH.
You touch hearts every day.
You change lives every day.
Monday is no different.
The people who will have the biggest influence on how our country will heal and whole will bear the biggest responsibility for making it whole again are sitting right in front of you.
They need you.
You are their teacher.
You know exactly what to do.
Resources to Help:
- Talking to Kids About Scary Things
- How to Talk to Kids About a School Shooting
- Helpful Tips on Talking to Your Kids
- Talking to Children About Violence
Image Credit: GaryVarvel.com