I am a teacher. I am a teacher whose job is difficult, and trying. The behaviour of children can be taxing and trying, and annoying and infuriating. And discouraging. It can make you want to walk out the door and brush your hands of it and call it quits.
The politics between the Provincial Government and the Union can make you want to do so even faster. I have to stand on a picket line on Tuesday. But this is not why I teach.
I teach because every one of those kids, those beautiful kids, with beautifully unique personalities, needs someone in their lives to care about them, and to teach them things. I don’t care about the money when you boil it down because if I did, I’d be doing something else. Teaching is hard, I’m sure I could have chosen something else that’d pay as well or better and not had to be a mentor, a social worker, a mediator, a problem-diffuser, a maid, a tutor, a disciplinarian, a nurse, etc…. but I didn’t, I chose to teach.
Today, my heart, as a teacher… broke. Today I heard that a school in a small city in Connecticut suffered an unthinkable tragedy. Someone went into a school with a gun, and shot and killed more than 20 people, most of them children younger than 10 years old. Children younger than my grade 5s.
How does one process this? They aren’t coming back. That school will never be the same. That town won’t be ‘normal’ for years. Those families will break and ache and hurt for years and years. Those parents… those poor parents. Those teachers that lost their colleagues and the kids that they care about.
I can’t imagine what this would feel like as a parent, I don’t have my own kids. But as a teacher? I have 280 kids, give or take… I lost track in October with moves in and out, but to lose even one of them… I would just break. I can’t fathom the pain.
And I’m sure this will spark huge debates and conversations about gun control and school security. Maybe those things both need to be stepped up, I don’t know, I’m not an expert. I do know this though…. people who go into schools with guns… they don’t just wake up one day and think, “I wanna shoot a bunch of 6 year olds.” There has to be a cry for help there somewhere. Somewhere, someone needs someone who will listen to them, who will be there for them. But most of all, they need Jesus. They need people like me who know the healing hand and love of my Saviour to share Him. And shame on me if I don’t do that, because what if not sharing could stop something like this?
So while I came home from work yesterday in tears because of work to rule and a difficult environment and picketing, not that I don’t support the cause, because I do… today’s perspective is different. I love those kids, I will be better for those kids. I will be love to those kids. They need it.