Back to class: the tightrope teachers must walk

Flag flies at half staff in Newtown. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

From the Exasperated Teacher blog is a post about returning to class on Monday, the first day back to school after the killings of 20 children and six adults at a Newtown, Connecticut school on Friday. Exasperated Teachers writes anonymously and offers this by way of biography: “Urban-based teacher. Adore my students, admire my colleagues. Frustrated by well-meaning (or not) educational interlopers.”

Here’s part of the post (you can see the whole thing here):

…. I will need to fully focus on my students’ emotional well-being and nurture them through this tragedy.

 

A tightrope, that is what I will walk:  needing to stress the importance of safety drills without frightening the kids; growing compassion without instilling depression; engendering political action without taking sides.

 

I will give them a chance to journal and draw, talk and cry.
I will give them the opportunity to angrily discuss how the daily violence in their own community is often ignored by the media.

 

I will keep it age-appropriate.

 

I will remind them that there is good, and there is kindness and there is courage on the darkest of days. And that those things exist because of choices people make.

 

I will reassure.

 

I will nod and hug.

 

I will coax them back to normalcy.

 

…. I will not test them, I will not gather or analyze data about them. I will not burden them with this month’s Common Core bundle. I will share my humanity and open myself to theirs….

 

 

Valerie Strauss covers education and runs The Answer Sheet blog.

local

answer-sheet

Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Comments
Show Comments
Most Read Local

local

answer-sheet

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Next Story
Valerie Strauss · December 17, 2012

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.