There’s a quote from Mr. Rogers making its way around since the wake of Friday’s horrible school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut: ”Look for the helpers.”
When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.
As more details about the victims and the survivors were revealed over the weekend, the snippets about heroic teachers and administrators have been the most moving. It is extraordinary that these women and men could put aside their own terror and fear to protect and comfort their students instead– calmly leading them to safety, barricading doors, holding them close, and praying, and in some cases, giving up their lives to warn and save others.
My sister and brother-in-law, both elementary school teachers, assured me that any teacher would have done the same thing. And, I know that’s true with all of my heart. Teachers all over the country already give their whole lives to their students in their tireless efforts, love, and dedication.
I don’t know a single person for whom this senseless and confusing tragedy did not hit a little “too close to home”. For me, it’s that my son is a first grader in a school “far, far away” from Connecticut, but in a classroom and school set up just like Sandy Hook. He even shared a birth date with one of the victims, Ana M. Marquez-Greene. A friend in the blogging world, Victoria Haller (@VDog), lost her nephew and our community has set-up a fund to help the family.
This could have happened anywhere and still can…
It is no small act of reliance and fortitude for students and teachers to walk into school this coming Monday morning.
Meanwhile, there are many differing, but valid reactions to Friday’s shootings among my friends with kids. Some accept it as a random act and prefer to move on, focus on their own lives, or refusing to live in fear. Others are advocating for stronger gun control, calling for better security in schools, etc.
I, for one, am simply grateful for the hope and trust that I have in my son’s school, not only to educate and shelter him during the day, but to protect him from evil and harm. It is no small act of faith that I will being taking my son to school in the morning. But it is because he has such a caring, loving, and amazing teacher that I will.
Join me on Monday, December 17, 2012 to take a moment to thank a teacher.
It can be as simple as writing a note or sending an email expressing your gratitude. You can offer a gesture of kindness like flowers, a little treat, or gift. You can even offer your time and support by volunteering in the classroom or signing up for your local PTO.
However you want to express your appreciation is wonderful! Just do something.
If you work in media or have a blog, we ask that you join hundreds of bloggers throughout the US in recognizing Thank a Teacher Day 2012. Write a post or share this one on social media.
Thank you to my dear friend, Julie Meyers Pron of Juliverse for creating these images and for starting something so positive and meaningful out of our shared pain, grief, and shock. Help us create a loving memory of those who gave their lives in Newtown, CT and honor of the hundreds of thousands of teachers who would not hesitate to do the same for your children.