In the face of recent tragic teacher murders, we thank a real teacher for speaking out in this Guest Post.
Remember the Teachers
By A. Nonymous
“Teaching has turned into a dangerous job.”
I heard this from a fellow teacher today while walking towards my inner city classroom. And she’s right. Teaching *has* turned deadly. This week alone, a male teacher in Sparks, NV was gunned down by a 12-year-old middle school student and a female teacher in Danvers, MA was beaten and murdered by a 6’2” freshman.
We all know about the other school tragedies over the years.
It’s gotten to the point that we’re not shocked by “breaking news” at a school. We just want to know *where* the violence happened, in case we know one of the victims.
Reporters often talk about grief counselors being made available to the students of a school after an “incident.” But they almost *never* mention the teachers getting counseling – and that’s a mistake.
Teachers suffer deeply after violence erupts at their place of work. When a school reopens after an “incident,” they’re expected to hold it together for the children because “that’s their job.”
But teachers are afraid, as they should be. Let’s be honest: Who’s committing the acts of violence? Students.
An honest teacher will tell you that he/she worries that a tragedy will occur at his/her school someday. We love our students, but at the same time, we all wonder: Is one of *my* kids capable of unpredictable violence?
So teachers not only contend with a hostile environment created by education reform and society’s disrespect for the profession, now they have to worry about dying on the job – at the hands of the very students they educate.
I’m not asking anyone to break out a little violin for the plight of teachers. But I *am* asking people to remember the teachers whenever there’s a tragedy at a school. It’s not just about the children. The adults get traumatized, too.
The next time you hear someone criticizing “greedy teachers” during union contract negotiations…or “bad teachers” during education reform debates….or “lazy teachers” because they get summers off….or “stupid teachers” because they dare to address a student issue and the parent/guardian doesn’t like hearing the truth about their “perfect angel”…
…remember that these “greedy, bad, lazy, and stupid” teachers are suddenly called “heroes” when they take a bullet for a student.
It’s telling that we hear about teacher heroics again, and again, and AGAIN after a tragedy.
But those teachers were always there, in that classroom, before the “incident.” We just didn’t consider them, until it was too late to say thanks.
P.S. My school system doesn’t allow teachers to speak with the press about “incidents,” which is why this post does not feature my name.
(photos: abc.com, patch.com; Googleimages)
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