I know many of you spent the weekend feeling overwhelmed with grief for the tragedy in Connecticut. For new teachers, the awesome responsibility of being a teacher comes in waves, and Friday was one of those moments. My first year of teaching was the year of Columbine, and I helped student process other terrible tragedies such as 911 and the Red Lake shooting. I simply cannot imagine the pain the families, parents, and community of Sandy Hook Elementary and Newtown Connecticut is experiencing.
Kylene Beers, one of my favorite literacy researchers/writers shared this post in her blog in response to the events from late last week. In it, she writes:
"...on Monday and for all the days that follow, you will prepare
lessons, watch for that student who doesn’t quite grasp the point,
encourage the student who hesitantly offers an idea, help the shy one
make a friend, remind the bossy one to listen more. And you’ll do what
no university class ever prepared you to do: you will show students
that when tragedy strikes, hope lives and goodness can always be found.
You will help students recognize that their grief shows their humanity.
You will show them that we all go on, in spite of fear, or perhaps more
importantly, to spite fear. And you will, as you nudge them toward
normalcy, even remind them that spelling still counts. You will be in
our nation’s classrooms, teaching our nation’s children, and for this we are a grateful nation.
Thank you. Thank you. And, again, thank you."
Resources to help teachers and parents know how to discuss and support students in light of the tragedy is found at the National Association of School Psychologist website.
Teaching Tolerance has also published advice for teachers on their website.
Let hope and goodness prevail. And thank you.