Tag Archives: teaching

Finding Words to Explain the Unexplainable : Tragedy in Connecticut

chalk-girl-web Chalk drawings only remain until it rains. Their innocence and beauty are fleeting.As Friday’s news flashed on my computer screen in the middle of the day, I couldn’t bring myself to read it while I was still in school.Our students were celebrating the end of the semester parties even though classes would still meet on Monday and Tuesday.So Monday morning we return and for someone who usually has more than enough words, I’m feeling totally inadequate.All I have are questions, questions that won’t be asked or answered by newscasters, interviews or political rhetoric.Political fighting over whether we should have access to guns is not going to help these families or bring back the innocence and sense of safety six and seven – year olds are entitled to feel.My questions are more introspective. Would I have had the strength to do what needed to be done at that moment? I think the answer is I would have done anything to protect children in my care. In our schools, we are well-trained to take action to thwart intruders, but in our hearts do we believe someone would come to hurt us? Until Friday, my answer would have been no.Having completed CERT training which involves triage, fire stoppage, search and rescue , all targeted towards natural disasters, you feel fairly in control.I have updated CPR , AED training, and first aid. I don’t think any of this would have helped on Friday. No one trains you to deal with a madman holding a gun who hurts children.

chalkflowerwebSo tomorrow, I need to go to school with answers for my gifted children. They are great questioners, but truly there are no clear answers.Talk is not going to change what happened. Actions need to. Our society has developed into one which no longer knows how to deal with anger . Revenge, getting back bigger and better for perceived wounds seems to be the answer for so many who haven’t learned how to handle anger. Compassion for those who are different is lacking in so many and causes feelings of disenfranchisement to grow.

chalkheartwebSo the questions are those we need to ask ourselves: How do we treat  and perceive others? How can we heal rifts? How can we be sure our families know they are loved each day? Am I the kind of person who would run towards the danger to save others? Can I develop the relationships that would enable others to trust and follow me? The only world we have is the one we live in at this point in time, but everyday we can work to make it better.That is all the control we can have, and we owe it to ourselves and those children and adults who had their answers.

chalkrainbow-web

 


An Extra Serving of Humor

Zero grams of fat .Zero carbs, protein, and fiber equals no threat to my diet, unlike the chocolate I crave on particularly stressful days. Lately my days seemed to be filled with acronyms : DEA, TVAAS, CFA, TCAP, IEP, TEAM,TCP, DEC, and IDEA. They should add HELP!!!!! Mostly they represent whatever someone with nothing to do can dream up. Being buried under tests and paperwork in a paperless system is difficult to understand for both teacher and student. There needs to be a way to decompress.For me it’s finding the humor and laughter. Sometimes I do it naturally, two pairs of glasses on my head and obviously searching for them, confusing words or losing track in the middle of a sentence…..My humor is on the dry side. Words are funny for me! George Carlin, Robin Williams, Lily Tomlin, they make me laugh.( Of course, Laurel and Hardy, the Marx Brothers and the OLD SNL circa John Belushi, Dan Ackroyd and Gilda Radner). Fortunately for me, the students I teach get my humor and even like it .  They are funny in so many ways, and when we laugh together you can feel the room decompress. Whimsy and acting out lighten our load. On my desk are wind-up toys, strange items that called to me on travels, and a pair of African Dwarf frogs whose antics keep us entertained.Humor is healthy and non-fattening. Laughing until you cry can make you feel ten pounds lighter, although I admit, I haven’t laughed that hard in awhile. Probably not since my best friend and I grabbed canes in an antique mall and were doing a rendition of Singing in the Rain when we realized  there were security cameras and we could end up on You Tube. Fortunately we escaped that fate. It’s not everyday in Memphis that you see Charlie Chaplin while wandering down the street, but there is humor in every day and taking an extra portion can only make us feel lighter.


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