December 17, 2012

Teaching . . . an Act of Love

Yesterday was a day of silence on many blogs, but today the difficult conversations begin as students and teachers grapple with their feelings about Friday’s events. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you who are heading back to school today, not knowing what the day holds in store. How do you talk to students about what happened at Sandy Hook School, or do you even discuss it? You know there will be questions, but how to find the right words to answer them when your own mind is so full of questions? How do you reassure students that they are safe when the reality is that life is short and we don't know for sure what tomorrow holds? These are difficult questions and I certainly don’t have the answers, but I pray that you’ll find whatever words are necessary to soothe fears and help your students through this difficult time.

As you search for answers, I would like to share with you two special blog posts that may help you through this process. Angela Watson of The Cornerstone for Teachers offers words of wisdom in What do you say at a time like this?  Denise Boehm of Sunny Days in Second Grade offers her thoughts on how to respond as a teacher in What do we do now?  Both messages spoke to my heart, and I wanted to share them with you.

Friday’s events were truly horrible, but the actions of many brave individuals reminds us that teaching is more than a job or even a profession … it’s an act of love. Thankfully most of us will never have to demonstrate our love for our students in a willingness to face down a gunman. However, teachers show their love every day in countless ways, making their classrooms safe havens for children who might not otherwise feel the unconditional love of a caring adult. So treasure the time that you have with your students this week and let them know how much you care. You might not find the perfect words to answer every question, but your love will shine through in your actions and that may be all that matters.

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