Saturday, December 15, 2012

What Can You Do in Response to Sandy Hook?

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:

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.


  1. I am currently a sub teacher, but I have spent 17 yrs on contract.
    I believe there i smuch more we can do: be in unity with our friends who participate in healing- I have yoga and meditation friends who are loving. We must as professionals who return to classrooms Monday be prepared to be as emotionally healthy as possible to face little children who may bring up the tragedy as it happened in a school and they will know about it and watched tv. They trust us as leaders and trusted adults. We have to be able to be caring thoughtful in our word so fsorrow, yet not break down in a way which intensifies the horror we of the situation for children who are grappling to understand and need emotional reassurance.

    We need to meet with our unions, our staffs to be clear on our district policies about how to talk about it and what they want us to do. My school district sent a letter to all parents and an email to all staffs regarding how to deal with horror and grief. I intend to ask our union to reach out to theirs in a show of love for healing. While cards and flowers are signs of caring and I hope we send them, I will be asking if there is more we can do.

    We can not take away the tragedy. I believe that we must care for ourselves, be prepared fo rthe continued need fo remotional support for ourselves and our teaching community/family.

    I deeply appreciate you rwords re preparedness, yet I am adding my thoughts as well. Thank you for writing this blog. I am working on my own where I write as a yoga teacher. Cathy Geier

  2. Thanks for this. I hope you don't mind I linked to this post ...

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