A few years ago, my (former) mother-in-law gave me a poem lauding teachers. In it lay one of my favorite written lines, to this day (I’ve linked to the full poem):
That about sums up this week in a nutshell.
For those who are not local or don’t watch the news…this happened on 1/26/15: http://bit.ly/1BGvVoY
Then, a few days later: http://bit.ly/1JNcdOl
It is extremely harrowing seeing my student’s face all over the news, and I’ll leave it at that. He was due to graduate this year, and was one of the first students I had at BHHS. I’ve often reflected that I take immense pride in my students, but I am extremely bitter that I have to hold my breath every time they make a stupid decision or when I see a news headline that says a teen has been shot in one of the many neighborhoods where my students live…mine the sorrow too. To say that it’s taken every ounce of my strength to put on a smile and be strong for staff and students is a rampant understatement.
In light of what I wrote last week about icy sidewalks and the oft-wished ability to see tough spots in our future…I do not pretend to be clairvoyant in the slightest, but it was Wednesday night, and I was becomingly increasingly anxious as I got closer and closer to interacting with students. Then one of my favorite Christian songs came on Pandora, and I found myself in my kitchen sobbing, doubled over with heart-wrenching angst. I found myself vacillating between wishing someone – anyone – could hold me in their arms, and being happy and relieved that no one could see me finally lose my shit. It’s become evident that in surviving 2014 and its myriad events, I learned to emotionally numb myself and become detached from my fermenting emotions.
But my school community will rebuild from this and be stronger. I have always loved the quote “Wear your tragedies as armor, not shackles.” These situations could certainly have had different outcomes, but we will learn and build resilience and be stronger than the fire that tested us.