Friday, December 14, 2012

An Elementary Teacher's Reaction to the News

I am trying to rectify in my head the things that I should say regarding my feelings about the shooting in Connecticut.  Part of me says to not say anything at all, because it is merely drawing attention to the killer, which may have been what he wanted..and the last thing we should do right now is give him a media sensationalized glory.

But the other part of me is telling me that I need to type my thoughts out. So, I am going to do that. I will probably delete this post later, purely because sometimes things are better kept in the heart and left up to good conversation.

But, for now, an expulsion.

Incidents like this cause me to wonder about my (personal) belief that the universe is moving towards order instead of chaos.  In my mind, there is far fewer things more heinous than killing.  Even fewer are the things more heinous than killing children.  Those children may have been our nation's next Einstein, Martin Luther King Jr., our next Gershwins and O'Keefes.  Yes, the opposite is true as well. These youth could have been our next Dahmers, Raders, and Bundys.

But, as I said, I like to believe the world is moving towards order.

More than anything, I think most of those children would have grown up to be "productive" adults in society.  They may have never accomplished anything of "paramount greatness", but in living a wholesome and loving life, they were living greatly enough.

Beyond that, even the surviving children now have a lifetime to live thinking back to that day where they heard the "pop pop pop" and screaming of their classmates.  Of hiding behind desks and in closets, wanting nothing more than to be held by their mother and father.  Longing for some certification that what they were experiencing was only a nightmare and that they would wake up soon.  These students will have to think about this and rationalize, in their young minds, why someone would do this to innocent individuals.  The youngest will have to re-learn that killing and violence is not an okay way to handle anger and resentment.  Students model what they see everyday. If a student sees a parent hugging a child, they are likely to be a loving student.  If a student is exposed to the horrors of molestation and rape, the terrors of violence at a young age, they will act out in similar manners towards their peers.

Today, so many young people were forced to grow up. To become elders in child bodies.

As I was thinking about this post (and whether or not I was even going to write it) during my dog walking session with Koda, I was going to go on my rant against guns and weapons. How I don't believe in the "right to bear arms", because (to quote Dylan) "the times, they are a changin" and the reasoning behind having guns when this country was formed is no longer valid.  But, that would lead to an upset and angry post, which are emotions that I have no desire to feel.  So I will merely leave it at this,

Guns were made to kill.  Whether the killing was done to animals or humans, they were not tools of peace or compromise. They were a quick fix tool.  I acknowledge that perhaps they have made life so much easier, but sometimes I think life it too easy and that the laziness that we are afforded leads to acts of ill will as well.  Guns are a non-necessity, and should be treated as a tool used for those who have been properly trained and proven their reliability with them.  They should be a last resort, and not a first.

And even after all this typing, my mind continues to ask me "What would you do, if, next Monday when you were walking down the hall, the entirety of one of the second grade classes was to be dead and you lost your Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade co-workers?"

My heart aches.

My friends, there is a call for reform in education. They say that we're not teaching our students enough to keep them up to date with the world and other nations.  That may be true. That may be a problem.  But, if we cannot raise our children to think like rational citizens, what does educating them more mean anyway?  We need a reform in so many areas besides purely curriculum, and it's not all on the teacher's end either.  We need a reform in the way we teach children to handle anger. We need a reform in the way we teach parents to talk with their children. We need a reform in the things that we allow children to watch and perceive as "okay". We need a reform in the way we all perceive the sanctity of life.

My friends, we are a nation and a world in need of reform.  How are you going to help the cause?

1 comment:

  1. While I was hearing about this today, I failed to think about how much worse the feelings I was having must be for you, for my family members that are educators, as well.

    I don't have much to add to what you said, other than---Yes. We need to rethink the foundations of our society, our core values. Are we going to start putting the care and needs children ahead of individual freedoms? I don't know if we are close to ready to deal with the massive lack of caring in our society. I do think our failure to do so is being displayed with greater and greater horror as we continue to not address it.

    I don't know what else what to say. Thanks for being one of the people trying to help the next generations live more fully, with greater care.