I know this blog is supposed to be devoted to my training (or lack thereof). Not this time, folks. There have been a lot of violent, terrible events in recent history. For me, the ones that have "thrown me for a loop" include the sniper, 9/11 and Virginia Tech. However, nothing has had the effect on me that the shootings in Newtown, CT have had. I'm beginning to think that I have a bit of post-traumatic stress disorder. Is that possible for someone who was hundreds of miles away from the actual event?
Of course, I am writing from the perspective of a first grade teacher. But, you have to understand that I love my job. I mean I really, really love it. My classroom is a sanctuary. The children I teach are part of my heart, part of my soul. If anything ever happened to one of them, I know that part of my soul would die. I know this.
I have had a nightmare (more than once, mind you) that someone took one of my children from me. Sometimes it's in the classroom, sometimes it's on the playground. In my nightmare, I negotiate with the person to take me instead of my little first grader. The ending is never clear. I think I wake up because the reality of this is just too much for me to bear.
Yes - this protective love is not just for parents. Teachers feel it. Or, as one of my colleagues so beautifully put it, anyone who has ever loved a child feels this.
When I returned to school the Monday after the shooting, I thought I would burst into tears when I saw that first, sweet, rosy-cheeked little first grade face. But, I didn't. Blessedly, we had just a normal Monday.
I will never curse a Monday again.