|created by George Asencio|
And yet at the same time there has already been so much written and spoken about the many tragic and burning issues surrounding it, I wondered if there was anything new to say.....
But then it occurred to me that there were some special people I did want to reflect on and they were the school staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
That fateful Friday morning, before getting into their cars to go to work, they, like the children in their care also said goodbye to their families. They hugged their spouses, their children, their siblings and parents, and went off to school as dedicated educators, as consummate professionals BUT also as family members.
And today their families are also mourning the loss of their daughters, their mothers, their wives, fiancees and siblings.
On this blog, you have learned a lot about my husband and his battle with trigeminal neuralgia and fleetingly I have mentioned that he is a Head of School. He has been the head of two schools over the past 17 years and I have lived and breathed these jobs with him, living in the community fish bowl 24/7.
Whenever there has been a crisis or a situation in his school that has needed time sensitive handling: the responsiveness, communication responsibility, difficult decisions and backlash have rested on Jonny's shoulders. Each time Jonny has led the school through a crisis as Head Of School, he has also been a husband, a parent of three children in that school (our 3 boys), a member of the neighborhood community and an educator.
So when this unspeakable tragedy happened on Friday, he did not have the chance to imagine "what if?"
just as a parent
and nor did I.
He needed to, once again respond as a leader, a Head Of School and an educator to reach out and communicate with our school community and to provide resources for the school families.
He worked with his senior staff over the weekend to decide how best to talk with their students on Monday and how best to structure assemblies and emotional support for his students and his staff. He fielded calls, texts and emails from parents, board members and staff carrying his phone in one hand and his ipad in another. I have seen him do this many times very early in the morning and late into the night, weekdays and weekends for a variety of urgent reasons.
Even though the situation that happened in Connecticut is very rare, Jonny and his staff carry that responsibility with them every minute of every day. These are not merely jobs, these are vocations.
And I am sure Heads Of School and Principals around the country and around the world have been doing the exact same thing.
And I imagine that teachers in their schools, have been reflecting on how much they care about their students and would unhesitatingly do what ever it might take to keep their students safe, including putting their lives on the line, much as the staff heroes in Newtown did.
So what can you do?
Well, as you give your children or grandchildren extra hugs, please take a moment, some time in the next few days, to thank your (grand)children's teachers and school administrators and their families for choosing this devoted vocation.
For caring deeply about your children's welfare.
For treating them like their own.
For going into school every day to help educate your children in a myriad of ways and for knowing that if it came to it
they would also risk their lives for them, because it would not occur to them not to........
May the memories of those who have died be for a blessing and I pray the families of all those who have been affected, find some strength, hope and comfort at this most challenging time.
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