I can't even write or think of the horror that occurred at Sandy Hook yesterday. When I found out, I could not stop crying, and still tear up as I scroll through Facebook, watch the news, and read the paper. If you are at all like me, you have two major burning questions about the whole situation:
1) WHY WHY WHY???
2) What can I do to help?
I don't know that there is a good answer to either question. We may never know the why part, or we may not be able to comprehend the answer. As far as question number two, again, I don't think there is anything huge I can do to help. But if I can do a little bit of good, then at least that's something. I want to do two things in this post.
The first is to remind all subs to make sure you know the emergency procedures of the schools where you sub. Unfortunately, you never know when tragedy may strike, and it could just as easily happen on a day when you are in a classroom, rather than the full time teacher. Make sure you know what to do in case of fire, power outages, inclement weather, and most horrifyingly of all, a lockdown. The death toll was lowered in Sandy Hook because of quick thinking, heroic teachers who knew how to keep their children safe. You need to know the exact same thing.
Full time teacher, you have a roll in this too. Make sure in your sub folder or sub tub, there is information on emergency procedures. Sure, the subs who work at your school nearly every day may know, but there is always one who has never been there before. Don't put your students at risk because you didn't pass along the information.
I know we all hate the drills. Yes, they are a pain. They interrupt our day of teaching; they upset some of the special needs students, and they are stressful to try to keep students quiet. But, Sandy Hook showed us that those drills are sometimes needed in real life situations, and we need to practice so we can keep our students safe.
The second thing I want to say in this post is that I will be participating in a special event tomorrow, and I hope if you are a blogger, you will join me. For tomorrow, all participating blogs will go silent to honor everyone affected by the events in Sandy Hook. Thank you to Meghan Farley of Oh Boy Fourth Grade for coming up with the idea. All you need to do to join is to grab this button designed by Michelle at 3AM Teacher and place it on your blog Sunday, December 16, 2012. Only post the picture and title your post "Silence for Sandy Hook Elementary." Let's all unite and show those affected how much we care.