My last day of teaching Spanish to my pre-K and kindergarten students yesterday was a really tough one. Every child I saw reminded me of the twenty little lives lost last Friday. I thank God that none of them seemed to know anything about what happened in Newtown, and I hope it stays that way.
We conducted class like any other day: drawing, singing, talking, and just having fun. That’s the beauty of small children: life (for the most part!) is pretty simple and full of fun. In all honesty, they made going back into the classroom on Monday so much easier.
However, during my third class of the day (kindergarten class), we had to have a lockdown drill. Shades are drawn, doors are shut, lights are turned off, and everyone is completely silent as we crawl under the tables in the center of the room.
The children were under the table trying to stay still and not giggle and make each other laugh. My heart broke again thinking of their complete innocence at what we were having to do. I had visions of the Newtown children and the panic they must have endured when they realized that their lockdown was for real.
Although I only see my little munchkins once a week, I can say that while they are in my care, I treat them as if they are my own children. Without hesitation, I, like any teacher would do whatever I had to do for the tiny lives in my care.
I think this is what pains me the most about Newtown; we couldn’t help twenty of those children. That being said, there are so many heroes – from first responders to teachers and the principal who gave their lives for their students. It’s a terribly cruel way of reminding us that there is good even in the presence of evil.
There has been a lot of talk about why events like Newtown happen and what we can do to prevent them. This is a discussion that needs to continue and not lapse as we fall back into our comfortable routine of daily life. No child deserves to grow up in a world where senseless violence is a very real possibility in the safe haven of their schools (or anywhere else for that matter).