I had a post all lined up for Teacher Tuesday…and then a terrible thing happened in Newtown, Connecticut that made me decide to write something different. There have been a lot of tears shed, a lot of arguments made, and entire reams written about that horrible day. I doubt that I can bring a profound, entirely new perspective to the events of this past Friday, but I also can’t ignore it.
My Teacher Tuesday feature is all about praising educators that have moved me, that have inspired me, that have awed me. Teachers that, for lack of a better expression, bring light into the world. Normally, I profile a specific individual; next week, I’ll be back to that. But today I want to write more generally.
This post is for Dawn Hochsprung and Mary Sherlach, for Anne Marie Murphy, and Vicki Soto, and Rachel D’Avino, and Lauren Rousseau, all of whom gave literally everything for the sake of their students. It’s also for every educator who devotes themselves to their kids; for all who go beyond what is necessary to collect a paycheck or to meet a benchmark; for all who have striven to provide a bright, warm shelter for their students from the often dangerous world we live in.
I’m writing for Kaitlyn Roig, whose account of the day moved me to tears, but also for every teacher who has made a student feel cherished in his or her moment of need.
Lastly, I’m writing for every educator who this week has had to explain this tragedy to their students, for all who have tried to help the young minds in their charge make sense of the utterly senseless. There’s no such thing as an adequate explanation for Friday’s tragedy. But teachers, dazzling, courageous teachers, please do not be discouraged. In times like this, when nightmares become waking and boogeymen real, kids need their guides more than ever — even if the light they shed quavers.