Sunday, March 4, 2012

Week Seven: Tragedy

Obviously, the shooting at Chardon High School was on the minds of every educator this week. Not only was it a tragedy, but I saw people connect to it on a very personal level. Even I was wearing a red ribbon earlier this week. People were reaching out to students and peers, not only to those who had been affected in some way by the shooting, but those whom they simply cared about. In fact, there have been a number of tragedies recently, including several threats to other schools after Chardon.

That having been said, I was surprised by my reaction to the recent shootings. While clearly I was moved, I didn't start out in the same place emotionally. I wasn't directly tied to Chardon or the shooting, but I AM a future educator. I feel like in the wake of tragedy we tend to focus on the "what if"s. What if those were my friends? My students? What if that had happened at my school? What would I do? How would I respond? It was comforting to find that I could answer those questions: I knew that I would do anything I could to keep my students safe. For me, the realization that no one can truly be prepared for something like that, but that I am confident that if it does happen I'll know what I need to do, whatever the situation, is mind blowing to me.

I'm not sure quite how to describe the feeling, but that confidence in my ability to react instinctively, even in the worst case scenario is a huge milestone. I certainly hope I never have to put that to the test, but in observing people's responses to Chardon and asking those "what if"s I know that I have, on some level, grown as an educator.