I’ve been thinking all week about how teachers of young children are keeping it together in the days following Friday’s school shooting. Yesterday, during my last author visit of the year, I got a little taste of what must be going on in the minds of these committed educators.
It wasn’t until 300 or so little angels seated in front of me yelled “GOOD MORNING, MRS. PELHAM!” that it hit me: Our teachers are strong because they have to be. They really have no other choice. Many people can close an office door at work and have a good cry, but teachers are “on” all day. I spent the next 45 minutes with 300 sets of eyes on me, with no place to hide.
I have never felt more honored and fortunate to be in the presence of these little angels, all
ages 5 through 8, in varying stages of tooth loss. I knew no good would come of me losing my cool, so I gave it all I had, letting children use the microphone to answer questions, singing loudly and cracking corny jokes that only elementary school kids would appreciate.
So here’s to the teachers. Thank you for your late-night phone calls “just to check in” on a certain mopey fifth grader. Thank you for convincing a kid with less-than-perfect pitch that singing is fun, no matter your ability. Thank you for all you do, and for every time you smile when you’d rather be mopey.
Enjoy the winter break.