Life Lessons, Parenting

Dear Teachers,

I’ve been trying to write this for two days. I keep writing and erasing, writing and erasing.

Because the truth is, I can’t find enough words of gratitude for what it is you do for all of us on a daily basis.

I started to think back to my own years of schooling and all of the amazing educators I was fortunate enough to have. Every single one of you were brilliant, even those that I didn’t care for, especially the ones I didn’t care for because I probably learned the most from you.

Your patience, your dedication, your passion. It all resonated with me. I remember your names, your faces, your messages, your encouragement, your wisdom, your individual skill sets, your special qualities that made you unique, your ability to remember our names 20 years later, your ability to show up for us.

You set me up for success to brave this world. You paved the way for me and all of your students, because that’s what you signed up to do.

You chose your career on sheer selflessness. You chose it on passion. You chose it based on the love for children. The love to educate our youth and to make them better. We are all keenly aware that you didn’t choose this path based on the financial reward.

You spend your own money on supplies, you have very little free time in the evenings and on weekends. You spend those hours grading papers, answering parents’ emails and texts, planning, conferencing, organizing, thinking, crafting.

Now I have a school aged child of my own. In the most violent time in history, I’m raising a child. And you, dear teachers, are raising my child right along with me, carrying burdens that I cannot fathom.

You spend more time with our children on a daily basis than we do during the course of the week. You know them better than we do in some aspects. You have tasks so large that we as parents can not reconcile in our minds how you manage not only the personalities of 15-60 students, but of their parents too.

You are an educator, a babysitter, a therapist, a nurse, a referee, a judge, a mediator, an analyst, a friend, a confidant, a mentor, and a coach all rolled into one. There’s no other profession like yours where you have to wear so many hats.

You have to bear the brunt of how much each and everyone of us suck at parenting in a million different ways.

And here, in 2018, you now have to enter your school on a daily basis faced with a fear so large, so insurmountable, that my heart aches for you. In addition to all of the responsibilities you already have, you now have to worry, and even prepare, to take a bullet for our kids. You have to have that additional nagging stress of “what if today is the day it’s our school?”.

I just can’t sit with that comfortably. It rocks me to my core that this is what it’s come to.

And as I scroll through social media today, I see some offering up your services to arm you with guns, train you to also be policemen and women of our schools to combat the evilness that has penetrated our schools over and over. Some want you to bear that load of being the one to pull the trigger in the face of danger, of delineating and diffusing a violent situation, basically taking on second profession, wear yet another hat.

I see these people, most whom are not teachers, offering this as a solution without even asking you how you feel about it, without even considering the tremendous responsibilities you already carry without having to also worry about carrying a concealed weapon.

And I’m sorry.

I’m sorry so much has fallen on you. It’s unfair. All of it.

So much stress, so much worry, so much anxiety, so much thought process that already goes into your daily grind. I cannot imagine how this all feels to you right now.

As a parent, I have felt sick to my stomach this week when I’ve dropped my child off to school. I should never have to have the thought in my mind that this might be the last time I see her when she’s simply going to school, a place that should obviously be a safe haven.

I cannot imagine how you feel inside these buildings in these times of uncertainly, with the amount of tragic events happening weekly within schools’ walls. It’s too heavy.

And I want you to know I’m fighting for change.

I am one fed up mama. I’m fed up for our children and I’m fed up for you, our educators. And I’m pledging to fight until we see more and more years pass before the next tragedy, not just days.

I will fight until there’s a time when this is all a distant memory and we can look back and say, “man, that was a scary time but look how far we’ve come”. I will fight for schools to be a safer place and fight for a day when you feel like you don’t have to have your guard up. I promise, I’m fighting.

I know we can do this and we will but in the meantime, teachers…thank you.

Thank you for showing up.

I will never have enough words of gratitude and thankfulness.

You are true heroes. My words will never fill that statement with enough power.

341 thoughts on “Dear Teachers,”

  1. This made me cry. It has been a very long time since I felt like anyone cared about teachers. Those of us in education have heard nothing but negativity for way too long. It has been a discouraging walk but your letter offers a glimmer of hope that someone, anyone, cares. I cannot express what that means to me personally. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Goodness. Your comment makes me so sad. You have no idea how grateful I am for every single one of you humans that chooses to dedicate your life to our children! You are incredible!! Thank you for reading!

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    2. This made me cry. Thank you. The past few days have been hard. A few days before FL, we had a kid from the HS next door arrested for bringing a shotgun. Then Florida happened, a copycat threat Friday at that same school, and another threat today at a different school in district. Today I was told by a complete stranger (nonteacher) that if I wasn’t willing to be armed to protect children, I shouldn’t be a teacher. I’m a musician. I want to make music with my kids and share the love of creating it. Guns don’t fit into my lesson plans.

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      1. Kara, I am so so sorry that someone said that to you. That is NOT how the majority of us feel. You’re brave just for being in the classroom for so many reasons. Keep going. Your loved and appreciated!

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      2. I am a miltary vet, and was a Republican for 30 yrs. I was raised on a farm, so was entrenched in the gun culture. We are supposed to be the beacon of the successful society to the rest of the world. We’re failing miserably and its time for that to change. The 2nd amendment was not mandated by God. It, like all of the other amendments has the ability to be modified for the changing nation. It is time for the insanity to stop and for our children to stop being gunned down for the sake of a profit margin. No. Guns do not belong in teacher’s hands and I go so far as to say, that it is well past time for our country abandon our obsession with violence and firearms. Thank you, teachers, for YOUR service to our nation.

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      3. Why is it that people continue to expect teachers to just add and add and add to our list of expectations? I am in Australia and hope that I and every teacher in the world will never need to be put in that position. I feel for the frightening position you are all in in the states. Teachers did not join the profession to have to shoot people. This level of care and protection is what our police and armed forces are trained for and anyone who makes such a statement as “if you are not prepared to carry a gun you shouldn’t be a teacher” obviously has no idea that we do this because we love children. Turning a gun on one is not what we sign up fir. I for one thank our government for the laws implemented here that make it so difficult to get hold of a gun and never the type of guns anyone can purchase over the counter in other countries. They mean that we can go to work and teach our kids with the confidence of relative safety wish you all well in achieving the same and thank Vanessa fir her kind sentiments which at this uncertain time in history are appreciated even from the other side of the world. 💕

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      4. Thank you, Elaine. I totally agree with you. I don’t know what’s going on here in the states but it’s very sad to me. So sad that I’m considering leaving, which is something I never thought I would say. And I’m not even a teacher, just a concerned parents and concerned citizen. Thank you for reading!

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    3. So well said… I too feel for all teachers as they have one of the hardest jobs on the planet especially today. My daughter is an elementary teacher and I fear for her, not just because of the violence in the schools, but also because of some of the attitudes from the kids and their parents. There is so much disrespect for teachers and authority. When I was a child, my teachers always had my parents as backup. And, as a parent, If a teacher said my child did something or needed extra help whether it was due to a behavior or scallastic problem – I believed him/her and worked together to correct the issue at hand. Our teachers today don’t always have that support system and it sure does make their jobs a lot harder. They have to give so much of their personal time, attention and even money to do a good job – a job that deserves so much more respect than it gets. Thank God we still have teachers like my daughter who are willing to go way beyond that “extra mile” to teach our children right from wrong, and the 3R’s! Bless them all.

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    4. Jennifer, I was feeling the exact same way. Thank you so much for this article. It also brought tears to my eyes. After the shooting this past week, I actually read a comment on social media that said they blame the school system and bad teachers. I put my blood, sweat and tears into my 25, five year olds. I miss out on my own family time often. Even as proposterous as that comment was and as angry as it made me, I was also so very hurt by it. So thank you for “getting it.” Thank you for seeing how many hats we do wear and that even the thought of having to protect my little Kinders from such violence terrifies me. I lived in Littleton, CO and just up the street from Columbine high school when that shooting occurred. I remember every single thing about that day and the days to follow. It will be something that is forever imprinted in my memory. I, too, hope and pray that we can figure out a way to make our schools and world a safer place.

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    5. Thank you. I recently read a post where someone stated, “If teachers did their jobs, there would be no more shootings-FACT.” The word fact in capital letters really hit me. I calmly responded, “Wow, what an ignorant and very sad statement” She also stated that we only care about our own feelings. So again, thank you for understanding. I only wish others like the lady that posted that comment would understand.

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  2. Thank you for your kind words. It is nice to be appreciated, especially at a time in West Virginia that teachers are preparing to strike because our state has left us behind. People like you give us the strength to keep going in a very scary time.

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      1. Vanessa , thanks for your recognition. So many dont understand. I just retired after 30 years and despite it all, most of us do what we do because it is our passion.

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  3. Thank you Vanessa for your kind and thoughtful words. My dad was a teacher and I have two sister who both taught for over 35 years before they retired. I have been a pediatric nurse going on 40 years. I’ve been a school nurse for 11. I never thought I would be worrying about how I would handle a mass shooting at my elementary school. All the students are my students as well as the staff. I should be worrying about flu epidemics and vaccination compliance. Our country is broken and hurting right know we have to work together to fix it.

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  4. Yes, as a teacher, sometimes I am made out to be the bad guy and it saddens me. The writer speaks the truth about teachers having your children many more waking hours than their own parents do on a weekly basis. Yes, sometimes we do know your children very well and they are not the same as they are at home. They are different in a social environment at school. Sometimes that is a good thing and sometimes not. But please always think we are on your child’s side and your side. I am not there to “pick” on your student only. What do I have to gain from that? Nothing! I am in it for the long haul and always want every child to succeed but I need your help sometimes.So please believe me when I say “little Johnny” is acting up, is unkind to others or needs extra help etc. We as teachers have nothing to gain from a child’s misbehavior or needing extra help but want to work in partnership with you to help teach this young mind what is right and wrong, how to be socially accepted, how to succeed academically, etc. Please know we get into this profession because we love all children.

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  5. I am a grandma with not only my grandchildren in school, but children who are teachers too. They are amazing people and I say BRAVO to you! All you said resonates as I sit here with tears for those who have lost their lives and those who daily have to wonder “who’s next”.

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  6. Thank you for writing this. I am a high school teacher and for the past few days I’ve been in tears listening to everyone’s opinions about guns, education and teachers in general. I never signed up to take a bullet, not did my colleagues nationwide, but we will be the first ones to stand and protect your children. Teaching used to be a great profession. Now I tell anyone thinking of going into education to stay far far away!

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      1. Thank you. I am a 3rd grade teacher. Today I had a good cry on my husband’s shoulder becomes I am anxious and angry about what has been happening. Thank you for your compassion.

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    1. It’s definitely it what it used to be! I went from being a parole officer to a teacher and on so many levels, couldn’t see a difference! At least you usually have backing as a parole officer! We do home visits and it’s less dangerous!

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  7. Vanessa, thank you for such a touching, appreciative, and real commentary. I am an eighth grade math teacher and I have actually told my students after a lockdown drill how I would be willing to take a bullet for them. Why should I HAVE to say that to them?! Last week my school lights went out momentarily and my students were frightened that there would be a shooter in the school. Why do they have to feel like this? I tell my kids frequently that my classroom is where they can and should feel safe, what I don’t tell them (at least not immediately) is that I would throw myself at anyone wishing to do them harm to protect them. Thank you for acknowledging the extra layer of strife that me and my fellow educators are experiencing.

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  8. Thank you for seeing us. Really seeing us! Your words are an encouragement and have blessed my heart. May you and your family be blessed.

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  9. I have 2 daughters who are teachers, and they do not want to be armed. They already work long hours in the evenings grading papers and preparing for future lessons. They are not trained as police or soldiers are with guns. Nor do they have time or want to do so. Thank you for giving voice to what some teachers feel.

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  10. Retired after 39 years, but I still enjoyed your comments, as I always tried to be the best I could be for all of my students! Thank you, those in the trenches at school will appreciate your kind and meaningful note!

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  11. Thank you for this. It gave me even more reason to get ready and head into a world most people have no idea that it takes more than a college degree and pass a test to be a teacher.

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  12. Thank you Vanessa for your heart felt words. I have been a teacher for 29 years… and I still love my job. I love looking at the blank slates I get every year and seeing their eyes light up! It’s sad that society looks down on teachers. But because you wrote these words I feel that all is not lost! Thank You!!!

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  13. Thank you so much for this. Teaching is my life’s work and passion; your understanding of our fears, and your expression of gratitude, is appreciated more than you can know.

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  14. Thank you for putting into words what so many others are feeling. It is funny that when I was in the classroom I did my job whatever the day held. I did it because I loved watching the kids grow. I retired this year and now I realize how many hats I wore. Thank you to those of you still teaching Take care of yourselves, I know you will take care of everyone else.

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  15. Thank you. As a teacher, my students are my kids and they know it! People are blaming the school, the teachers, the counselors. They just don’t understand. Your kind words are very much appreciated!

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  16. My husband and two of my children are teachers in different parts of California. Not a day goes by that I don’t worry whether something will happen in one of their schools. They teach middle school and high school — hotbeds for angst and bullying. Parents need to be more “in tune” with their children, and involved in their lives, so they can see when changes occur and get help immediately. Most teachers are aware of the cliques that pit the popular kids against the unpopular ones — the kids who get bullied. It is paramount that bullying and bullies be stopped. I love your letter to teachers. It makes me feel a whole lot better about my husband and kids being teachers. I do know how appreciated they are, but it is nice to have my feelings confirmed. Now, let’s keep everyone safe, okay?!?

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  17. Thank you for understanding. I didn’t want to retire from teaching in high school — but to everything there is a season. I miss it, everything, even the 50-60 hour work weeks. To watch a teenager mature, to help him or her learn the value of kindness and integrity as well as intellectual pursuit — well, except for being a parent, there is no better vocation.

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  18. I received this immediately after leaving a memorial service for one of the children killed in Parkland. I sat in my car, and cried thanking The Holy One that someone could put into words what lay so heavy on my heart. I immediately shared this with the teachers at my grandsons’ school. I pray that it will bring them comfort.

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    1. Donna, your comment literally brought me to tears. The fact that this reached the Parkland community is just amazing to me. And I am so so sorry for your loss and for what your grandson is going through. My heart is so heavy for all of you. I’m sending you love and light. I see you. I see your community and I am fighting for all of us.

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  19. Thank you. It is refreshing to hear such kind words. I have sat silently in the dark with young students during lock-downs (drills and real) and processed what I would do if someone managed to break through the door. You are right, most of us would do whatever it takes to protect “our” kids, even though they aren’t actually ours. I confidently tell my class, “I will always keep you safe,” but honestly, the possibility of tragedy striking is far too real. Thank you for understanding. We will continue to teach, to protect, and to love our kids, no matter what.

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  20. You are an amazing woman to see exactly what a teacher is and does! I wish your kind words could be sent to all my children’s parents and administrators, so they too could see it through the eyes of an outsider. I love my job and my children, but the lack of support and respect from people in the field and outside, breaks my heart. I thank you and pray things change!

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  21. Thanks, Vanessa, for your words. They are appreciated by so many teachers / school staff members, both active and retired, everywhere! As your words are insightful, motivational, and inspirational, I felt they should be shared. It’s not everyday that teachers and school personnel receive appreciation. At this time, your words may help the healing that many need. Thank you, again!

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      1. Thank you for respecting my profession. Being a speech pathologist and working with my special education students is the best job in the world. Seeing my kids make progress is the best gift of all!

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  22. Thank you very much! On most days, teaching is a thankless job, and I’m okay with that when I see that one child smile when I didn’t think a smile was possible. Laughter from children at something we do in class is such a joyful sound. I would take a bullet for even one of my students…no doubt! I appreciate your sentiments and appreciation. As a 19 yr veteran teacher, I appreciate your message of strength!

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  23. My husband and I never left a parent/teacher conference without asking the same question: Is my child being polite to you and to others? Is she demonstrating good character? Is she respectful of you? We always viewed her teachers’ jobs as igniting a passion for learning and challenging her to be a better student. Our job was her character, although we know, beyond doubt, that every educator she ever had reinforced our objective. It’s unacceptable that teachers are in positions that require them to be prepared for lethal danger because we don’t have the fortitude to say no to guns and offer disgruntled gun owners our thoughts and prayers over the loss of their semi-automatic weapons.Teachers, we’re with you. #MomsDemandAction

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  24. Thanks for being on our side!! Some days a much tougher than others. Some days we are also being referees, nurses, psychiatrist, friends, life coaches, janitor’s, and cafeteria staff. Now to think we might have to add the title “police officer” to our credentials can be scary, but, if it needs to be done, we will do it to protect the children that you have trusted us with for the school year.

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  25. Thank you, Vanessa, for writing what is in your heart. As a retired teacher and mother of a son who died by suicide, I am constantly grateful that he didn’t hurt anyone else when he left this world just days after Columbine. Every time shootings occur in school, I’m overwhelmed with the pain and anger that has not changed in twenty years. I would have protected every student, but then again, I became a teacher to nurture and help students prepare for life. I never thought I’d have to fight for their right to survive a school shooting. My heart goes out to all the teachers, friends, and families of those betrayed by trusting our government to protect our children.

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    1. Oh, Jean. I’m so thankful you commented. I’m sorry for the loss of your son. And thank you for making your life’s work about children! We live in such crazy times. I hope to see some progress for my child who is 8. Teachers give me hope. Thank you!

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  26. Wow. Your words were undeniably heartwarming. I thank you from the bottom of my teacher heart. But also, thank you for writing the words my mother heart could not find. I think your meagre rings true in your committed support for teachers, as you replied with even more gratitude to every educator that responded to your article. Thank you a million times over for being in our corner.

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  27. Thank you. As an educator, thank you. This is not what we signed up for when entering this field. Things must change or many will leave the field I fear. How sad for students to lose those that care so much about them but may be choosing between life and death by going to work each day.

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  28. Thank you for your support and kind words. I am a high school science teacher. It’s true that many teachers are idealists and that’s why they entered the profession. I am more of a realist. I love my kids and would probably take a bullet for them. However, I also truly believe I should not have to. I am willing to train and be ready to defend myself and my students with a firearm. I have my concealed carry permit and firearms. I have them because it is my constitutional right to defend myself. I have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I have the right to life. I don’t want to die at the hands of an active shooter. I don’t want to die for my kids. I want to be able to fight back and keep all of us alive. In a perfect world, schools would be the safe havens they should be. But it’s not a perfect world. And I want the ability to fight to stay alive in this not perfect world.

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  29. Thank you so very much for acknowledging the stresses that we face as educators. After the many school shootings, I often find myself going through the lock down drills and analyze its effectiveness. Will this plan save my students? I lose sleep contemplating new escape routes, the fastest path to safety, the best hiding spot. The reality is that there are no realistic plans that will save my children. I line up my paper weights and visualize me throwing it at the evil intruder. Will this be enough? How many babies will I be able to save? Will I be able to live with myself if I lose any of them? Will I go home to my own children? What will they do without their mom? These are very troubling times in education and our children deserve better.

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  30. Thank you Vanessa. I have taught high school math for 42 years and also spent 18 of that as a principal. The length of a teacher’s career these days is 5 years according to studies I have read. Does not say much of a profession that I love. As a teacher I was always at school by 6:30 and would usually leave by 4:00. As an administrator I spent from 7 – 5 at school every day. For the last 15 years I have taught nothing except the lower end of the Math scale. I tried to make it fun because it is hard to make the subject exciting but I can honestly say that students in my class knew that they were cared for.
    My biggest achievement was a year that I took over a Math class for a teacher who lost his father over the Christmas break. The class was 9F Math. I found out that the F meant that this was the 6th time the students had taken the course. Some teachers just laughed when I told them what my first class was. When I walked into the room the students were all over the place, music blasting and paper flying around the room. My first thought was “What have I got myself into?” I went up front to the desk and when I turned around the students had shut off the music and were seated at their desks. I looked up and said “The strangest thing just happened. When I said what class I had first I said Math 9F. Teachers were laughing and some turned away so I could not see their faces. What do you think of that?” They wanted to know who was laughing but I could honestly say I don’t know anyone’s name. They got mad and were very upset. I then said “We have 3 weeks of classes before the final. If you promise to do the work I assign you, listen in class and take an active role in the class then I will teach you enough in these 3 weeks that you will pass the final.” They looked at me and said how do you know this? I told then that I had taught the course for the last 20 years and I help write provincial exams and know what they are looking for and what is most important. In March the principal of the school called me to the school and took me to a classroom. In the room was my Math 9F class who asked the principal if they could have a little party with me to show me that they had ALL passed the course. The principal said to me “I don’t know what the hell you did but you have a knack with these kids.” I answered with “I think this was the first time that someone actually believed in them. A lot of teachers laughed when I told them that I had this class and to me the students are very quick to pick that up. These kids need to know that it is okay to make a mistake and no one will make fun of them as we are all learning, even me. I showed them respect and made them accountable for their actions. They needed to know that there are consequences for their actions and it is not that someone hates them. They also needed to learn that people will treat them like they act, if they act like young adults they will get treated like that.”
    I have tried to figure out how many students I have taught in my 42 years. This seemed like a task I could never figure out but the number would be in the thousands and I treated each one like their were my own children. I enjoyed each and every day. I am out on Long Term Disability and will retire in Dec/2018. I sure don’t miss all the politics that goes with the job, I do miss the teachers and the students. One teacher I taught with my first few years said “I knew it was time to retire when I started calling the kids by the grandparents name.”
    Thanks again for your kind words!

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  31. I hurt for all the Children and All the Teachers. I too never thought i wouldvfearvfor My Grand Child everyday He walks out the door to go to school. My Daughter is goibg to start Her Teaching Credentals Classes this Fall. We are so Proud of Her but now I am also so Fearful for Her. What has become of Our World My Heart is so Heavy writing this 😢

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  32. Profound! Most people do not understand like you do! I have spent my entire career being a teacher, assistant principal, mom, principal and college professor. I would not change anything except the lack of respect of teachers. I love my students who are my babies ranging in age from 47 -16. I could not have had another job that rewarded me so richly. Thank you for your words!

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  33. I love teaching and wouldn’t change anything about my career path. But as a teacher I feel society’s loathing of us every day. We are disrespected and hated. Society does not want their tax increases to go toward our salaries, school supplies, buildings, etc. Unfortunately, society only cares about teachers when they are shielding students from bullets.

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  34. Thank you for your words of support, encouragement, and gratitude. They mean more than you know. I have spent the last 30 years as a special education teacher, during which I have taught students of a variety of ages and disabilities. The majority of my career, however, has been dedicated to working with high school students with emotional disturbance and/or behavior disorders. While thankfully, none of my students have ever committed a heinous act like the one we witnessed last week in Parkland, and in so many other similar cases before, I do know what it’s like to recognize the kind of student who is capable of such violence. I have had a student threaten to put something in my coffee. I have had a student threaten to slash my tires. I have been called any number of names when an adolescent is lashing out from the pain of living with abusive, neglectful, overly permissive, or absent parents.
    More importantly, however, I have seen a student who could have been the next Nikolas Cruz come back from the edge. I’ve sat until 6:00 pm with a student, waiting until he or she is transferred for a psychiatric hospitalization. I have had to physically restrain countless students to prevent them from harming themselves or others. I have been the person that listened to that kid when no one else would. These kids need help and too often, they aren’t getting it.
    Sadly, I’ve lost a few over the years- some to suicide, a few to prison, far too many as victims of gang homicides. But I choose to focus on the majority of them, who have evolved into happy, healthy, and productive members of society who hold down jobs and are involved in relationships and are now wonderful parents. I am thankful every day for social media that allows me to have contact with them, to let me know that they’re ok and life is good. I know the power that a teacher can have on the life of a child who feels as if the entire world has abandoned him or her. We can’t save every one of them; that’s naïve thinking. However, we can sure as hell try. Schools need funding, training, and most of all- adequate personnel. We also need the government to step up and do their part to make our schools safe. It’s a joint effort.

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  35. Thank you for you kind words, and words of encouragement. I know every teacher who reads this including myself appreciates this more than you know. Thank you.

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  36. Great article Vanessa! My friends who are teachers put everything into their jobs. They put in long hours for little pay, and even pay out of pocket for classroom supplies. They deserve all the recognition we can give them, along with efforts to raise their wages.

    One thing I would like to comment on is your statement that this is the most violent time in history. These times do seem scary, but in reality all crime, including violent crime, is at a 50 YEAR LOW. Check out my link below or google it. The news outlets don’t report on it because they make more money when we’re scared. I would politely ask you not to add to people’s fears. Even with the recent mass shootings, schools are still unbelievably safe.

    In the 18 years since Columbine, 122 children and young adults have been killed and 250 wounded by mass shooters in schools, including colleges. That is way too many! However- if your kids are going to school scared- please look them in the eye and reassure them that they are safe. If you tell them they are safe driving to school, you can tell them they are safe in school. In 2016 alone 2,820 teens age 13-19 were killed in car crashes….that’s just high schoolers. 9 people die every day due to distracted drivers!
    I am not telling you the thought of a school shooting isn’t terrifying….it is! Just that in the grand scheme of things schools are still very, very safe compared to other, riskier things we never think twice about. I hope this makes you and your readers feel a little more at ease.

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/01/30/5-facts-about-crime-in-the-u-s/

    https://www.axios.com/122-killed-in-mass-school-shootings-since-columbine-1518729655-91efddc3-adcd-4991-bd5c-59938db7bc2f.html

    http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/teenagers/fatalityfacts/teenagers

    https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/distracted_driving/index.html

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    1. Thanks for reading and for your mindful thoughts. I was actually referring to the most violent time in history within the walls of schools, not in general, but thank you for pointing out the possibility for that to be too general. I understand the risks and the potential for the millions of other ways our youth can be in danger, as I’m certain my readers do, too, but I certainly appreciate the notes. This was just to simply thank teachers for what they do on a daily basis with the additional fears of threats of violence.

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  37. I appreciate your kind words, strength, and resolve in fighting for teachers. You are right on every aspect. I am a teacher and certainly wear all of the hats you mentioned and more. I truly care for my students as if they were my own, and just like I will defend my family of four from harm by arming myself and my wife in our home and in public, I would be very comfortable carrying a concealed pistol at school in my classroom to protect your child and everyone else in my classroom and school. Every teacher should not carry, that is an invitation for disaster. I do believe that teachers and staff members who are physically able, properly trained, and personally willing to be able to carry to protect those within their care. As a parent of kids in school, much of my own personal worry about my children would subside if I knew there were trained staff in their school to defend them in a worst case scenario.
    There is way more to a complete solution than campus carry; however, I believe this should be a vital consideration to the solution.
    Thank you and God bless!

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  38. Thank you for this. I had a shooting at my school more than 22 years ago – it was a parent to a staff member (no one was injured) but the students saw this and a shotgun slug shot was fired into an empty classroom. I have been a teacher for more than 30 years and every time these events happens, I look over my shoulder or out my classroom windows twice just to make sure I am aware of my surroundings. More and more teachers are leaving because people with feelings opposite of yours are pounding teachers efficacy into the ground. The general public hasn’t a clue what teachers actually do and due to confidentiality, we cannot share the most serious and detailed parts of our jobs. We need more people like you sharing these thoughts and feelings with the world and with those who make education policies. Thank you again for this, it will be shared with fellow teachers.

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  39. Vanessa,
    Thank you for this. I retired at the end of last year after 33 years. I chose to work in high poverty areas. These areas are also rife with abuses of all sorts. I can remember having to have a discussion with my fourth graders after a shooting. They were scared. As their teacher, I didn’t know what to say. They knew I would die defending them if I needed to. I loved my job, but I realized the stress was getting to my health and it was time for me to go. I visit 2 of my old schools and just hate that we have to buzz people in because we can’t be sure about anyone. It is a sad day and most teachers I know around where I live do not want to be armed. They want to do their jobs without fear. My heart breaks reading some of the ignorant comments from people who think the job is soooo easy. I asked a person once to come sit and watch what I do after they criticized teachers in general. Their reply was something I can’t put in my print.
    Anyway, thank you so much for your kind words.

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  40. Thank you! I’ve been teaching for 17 years and it only gets more difficult. I however love my job, I love building relationships with my students and their families. Each day brings new challenges and with support we will make it through! Thank you for all of your kind words!

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  41. I absolutely would protect my students if that’s what it came to because that’s my job when their parents aren’t there. I just hope my own family will forgive me and understand my love for my students didn’t outweigh my love for them if something would ever happen to me in the line of duty.

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