I went to church today as a parent and as a teacher.
I went to church today because I needed my prayers to be heard, maybe a little more clearly and maybe a little bit louder. I went to church today and cried.
I have the good fortune of being a kindergarten teacher. I get to teach and play with our school's youngest students. Not only am I their teacher, responsible for their learning, but in many ways I am responsible for their well-being and their happiness. For six hours a day, 180 days a year, I am their nurse, their surrogate parent, their confidant and sometimes their best friend.
This tragedy has put what I do into perspective for me. I've always known that we do as teachers is important, but as I read the stories of the teacher heroes it has become very clear how important. Teachers save lives.
I'm not talking only about putting ourselves in harms way to protect our students, I don't know a teacher who wouldn't, but we save lives on a much larger scale.
We teach our children skills for life. We teach them how to read, count, share. Sometimes we provide them with the only meal they'll have that day, often we read the only book they'll hear, or give the only hug they'll feel.
We provide their parents with a shoulder to cry on, some reassurance when they don't know what to do or how to cope with life.
I went to church today. I prayed today for myself that I'll be able to continue to teach to the best of my ability. I prayed for my husband the 4th grade teacher, my two oldest children who will become teachers. I prayed for my 6th grader to keep him safe in his big school on the hill. I prayed for my friends, the teachers I have the privilege of working with each day.
I went to church today and I prayed for the children.