Good afternoon, my friends.
We haven't been around the past few days because our hearts have felt too heavy. Our hearts are broken for the tragic and senseless loss of 20 beautiful children not too far from where we live. Our hearts ache as we think of the pain and helplessness their families must be feeling. We also grieve for the teachers and staff whose lives were selflessly given as they tried desperately to protect their students. Their children.
As a (former) teacher, I can tell you that your students become your children. For so many hours a day, you are their caregiver.
Oh gosh, I sob when I think of how the teachers must have felt. Their minds racing to figure out the fastest way to get their students to safety.
And my mind can't help but go there-this could have easily happened in my classroom while I was teaching. This could have happened in my niece's school. It could happen when my babies are in school.
Teachers don't just teach their students things out of a book and go home at night and forget about them. They are constantly on your mind. You wonder what/how you can approach subjects to help them to better understand, you wrack your brain thinking of ways to make them love learning, you come up with creative behavioral plans. Your job doesn't end when the bus pulls away from the school. It doesn't stop on school vacations. A teacher is always caring and thinking of his/her students. Teachers don't teach for the paycheck (which isn't much!). They teach because they love the children.
I wish more people knew this about teachers.
This tragedy has hit me very hard. I think a lot of people feel this way.
I have a group of friends that have inspired me greatly. They are doing things like paying off a family's lay-a-way in honor of the children who lost their lives. I want to do something to help too.
Ann Curry has challenged the nation to commit "20/26 Acts" of kindness in honor of each child and staff member, and I have decided to accept the challenge.
Take a few seconds to watch her interview here.
Today I brought cookies and party supplies to the preschool classroom where I used to work. It didn't cost me more than a few dollars and it felt good to do something simple for a group of children.
I am also choosing to smile through my tears and celebrate Christmas with gusto. I owe it to those babies to carry on.
Thoughts and prayers to you all.
I'll be back this week with the rest of my 12 days of Christmas toddler activities :)