Silver Lining: From an Elementary Teacher's Perspective: Thoughts on Sandy Hook

December 16, 2012

From an Elementary Teacher's Perspective: Thoughts on Sandy Hook

There is a war coming. It's coming here and it's coming now. It's not about programs, policies, or politics. It's a war of good against evil. Just look at the news. Bad things are happening, even as the good people get stronger. Everyone will have to pick a side in this war, for neutrality will not be an option.

The thing about being a teacher is you're not just someone who stands at the front of the room and lectures. You're much more. Teachers save their children without a second thought. Sometimes it's easy to complain with other teachers about specific students.  But the fact is, without a doubt, teachers will do anything to save their kids. They will literally die saving them, and that's exactly what six brave staff members did on Friday morning.

I consider myself a peaceful person. I believe there are better ways to solve problems. But if there's one thing I will fight for, it's children. I believe so strongly in the cause of helping children who are still learning how to help themselves.

I will fight for my 31 children, those 31 beautiful students who are entrusted to my care.
I will fight for children who are too young to help themselves yet.
I will fight for my little siblings.
I will fight for the world that my children will be born into.
via Michelle McLoughlin//Reuters

And I know I'm not alone. In this battle of good and evil that is getting stronger, I am not alone. A teacher in my grade is a foster mom to three beautiful babies, and she's fighting for them to have a decent chance in this world. Another teacher in my grade hardly sees her husband; they work split shifts so their children can always have a parent home and financial security. Parents fight every day in the defense of children.

I want to give one more example of how much goodness there is in the world: Friday afternoon, as the staff was reeling with shock and horror, the principal came on the intercom a few minutes before school got out. She requested that if we had a few minutes, she would love to see extra staff on bus duty, as it would be especially important for the staff to be visible today.

So many staff members came out. I almost started crying as I joined the line of staff members, all in their orange vests, standing along the curb. We were just directing traffic and helping children into their cars like always, but we were also saying we're here. We hate that this happened, and we're as in shock as you are, but we're here. We're fighting for these children, and we're taking a stand for good.

That's the whole point of what I'm trying to say. Bad things done by bad people are going to keep happening in this world. Instead of blaming gun control or mental health care or the shooter, I'm focusing on what we can do to magnify the good, not the evil.

Because I'm convinced that in the end, a small group of people doing what's right is going to save this world. 

Bad things happen; horrible, terrifying, unfathomable things. But good things happen too. It's the parents who teach by example, it's the children who show they are innocent and strong, it's the teachers standing along the curb showing their support that are going to be the saving factor, that are going to make the right prevail. They'll prevail because they know this truth: the power of goodness is much stronger than the power of evil.

*disclaimer: These are simply my thoughts, my feelings, my truths, and in no way represent official positions of my school, teachers, or community.


  1. I felt the spirit so strong as I read this post. Beautifully worded. THank you for sharing.

  2. This is such a beautiful post. I was a school counselor in an elementary school and the attachment you make with your students last a lifetime. I'm so thankful that there are teachers like you.

  3. What a mess this world is coming to. It's so sad that the innocent always seem to be the ones to suffer at the hands of evil. Nice post!

  4. i love you brooke. you seriously have the best outlook!
    i want to try and be just like you.


  5. Couldn't agree more! You are so strong. So glad we have teachers out there like you!

  6. I loved this Brooke. You are so right. We need to be the good in the world.

  7. I love you so much! Working with you is a joy! You have a beautiful way with words that touches all who read. Thank you!

    And, ps, you made me cry. Working opposite shifts as my husband has been so hard, but it just seems like my normal now. Reading what you wrote reminds me that it is okay to miss him and that what we're doing is worth it. Thank you!

  8. Love this post.
    Thank you for stopping by my blog.
    Following you now.
    Millie's Little Palace

  9. Your post is such an incredibly important and moving tribute and call to action. We can indeed rise above the unthinkable and move forward mobilized for caring, compassion, dedication and excellence.

    The children under your care and direction are very fortunate indeed.

    Thank you for the image of your fellow teachers at dismissal -- making a visible contribution of calm and support for parents.

    Debbie Clement

  10. This made me cry. Beautifully written and so heartfelt. Thanks for sharing this. I so strongly agree with everything you wrote!


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