I had my next Creativiteach offering ready to post, when this week’s tragic events in Connecticut made me wonder if silly Christmas offerings were appropriate at a time of national mourning. I decided they were—because I believe helping the children in our charge reclaim their joy and childhood is important work for of all of us outside the immediate circle of horror. But I had something to say first.
Today, as always, I am proud to be a teacher. As I read about the courage exhibited by Newtown teachers, I thought, “Yes, of course that’s what they did.” If someone had threatened the young children I taught, I know I would have faced bullets for them. That is no great credit to me. It is what teachers do. In a world that is so quick to blame teachers for everything from the world’s economy to its lack of civility, it is important to take a close look at these women. Teachers are the people who spend their days with our most precious resources. They are the ones who care enough to deal with 26 runny noses each winter, with squirmy bodies packed into too-small rooms, frightened kindergarteners on the first days of school and wise-cracking teens finding their way to independence. And do it with more love than most people ever know.
And so today, when I envision those beautiful children walking into eternal life, I picture them with a teacher leading the way, others on either side, and one at the end of the line, to make sure no one is lost. I wish I had the capacity to draw that picture, but it is clear in my mind. Those children had loving escorts, every step of the way, because they had teachers.