A Message to Maine Teachers Following the Texas Elementary School Shooting
At the time of this writing, outlets like CBS 13 are reporting that a total of 21 people (19 children and 2 adults) were killed in yesterday's horrific, tragic shooting at Robb Elementary School, the Texas elementary school located in Uvalde, Texas that was celebrating the end of the school year when fire broke out.
First and foremost, here's hoping that number doesn't raise, because it's already way too high. It was even at "one."
Secondly, to teachers throughout Maine, New Hampshire, Northern New England -- hell, the entire country -- we know. We're sorry. This isn't the job you signed up for. We know that.
The first time you stepped inside a classroom while you were in college, taking early childhood education courses, excited to observe a teacher in action --hoping and knowing that'd be you one day -- you were probably excited. Excited to get hands-on training. Excited to get to work. Excited to make connection with the young minds you knew you'd be in charge of molding in the future.
Nowhere on a final exam or state exam (or maybe it's included now considering the actual dumpster fire state of the world) is there a section outlining how to appropriately become a superhero. Yes, you signed up to be a superhero for education. But not being a legitimate superhero of saving lives.
Truthfully, the only conflict resolution you should have to deal with is the conflict two growing students have with each other. The only conflict resolution you should have to deal with is the conflict a student has with completing and passing in their assignments on time -- or at all. The conflict resolution you should not have to worry about is a gunman or woman, of any age, creating havoc inside of a school filled with staff and also students of any age. But especially innocent, young children.
All while being criminally underpaid on top of it all.
This message is for you, teachers. Who, probably on zero sleep because of the news you arrived home to yesterday and spent the entire rest of your afternoon, evening, and overnight racking your brain on not only how to process it, but how to conduct a day of classes today, still managed to drag yourself out of bed and get it done.
Because even though you didn't sign up to be a superhero that is literally in charge of protecting lives -- you are. You're absolute frickin' superheroes that deserve all the heroic credit in the world. For not only having to digest what is probably your own immense fear heading into school today, but also the immense fear that your students and their parents are also working through.
Thank you, teachers. Thank you for the work we know you do, the work we don't even know that you do yet crush silently, and just being there. You deserve more gratitude sent your way. More pay. And most importantly, way more respect.
And not only thank you, but like you're there today and the days that follow for your students and their parents -- we're all here for you.