Saturday, December 14, 2013

One year ago.  The tragedy of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.

My second "mom" had taken me to school that day.  She offered to take me to school since the school I was subbing at was only a few minutes from her work, and, of course, it's always so much more fun to commute with someone.  :)  Anyways, I had worn my stilettos with my gray boot cut dress pants and a black top.  I was originally scheduled to sub in 3rd grade that day with a co-teacher, but by 8 o'clock, I was asked to go sub in Special Ed.  It turned out to be a K-2 LD classroom.  That is one classroom I never forgot subbing in.  I learned so much about special ed that day.

I may not have had a full-time teaching position, but on December 14, 2012, I was a teacher.  I was in a school.  In a classroom. Sitting at a desk with 2 other aides in the classroom and approximately 7 children.  One of the aides was calling students over one by one to the table near the desk. She was painting their hands a variety of colors to finish calendars they were making their parents for Christmas.

I remember it was the students' special.  The physical education teacher came to the classroom to excite the students for physical education.  The aides bundle the students up in their coats, scarves, hats, and mittens and went outside with the students.  I sat at the desk for those 40-minutes while the children went outside for phys. ed.  I looked at my phone and read the CNN, Fox News, and USA Today reports come through on my phone.  One by one.

I don't think I really processed what was coming through on my phone.  My phone was constantly asking for my attention with all the updates that were arriving on my home screen.  No other teachers had really discussed the same updates I knew they were getting on their phones.

Until around 2 o'clock.

When we went to another special ed classroom for Friday afternoon movie and popcorn.  I was starting to process what I had been reading all day on my phone.  The teachers and aides read news articles on the computers while the students were occupied with the movie.  They talked about a variety of things about what had happened.

It wasn't until I was waiting for my "mom" to pick me up that I sat in the office of the school looking out the glass windows that I realized what could have happened in that school.  Images of the principal coming out of his office to stop what he could, windows being broken down, the cafeteria to the left, teachers room straight ahead.  The classroom I was in .. just to the left.

Had I not subbed that day, I think the events of December 14, 2012 would have affected me differently.   But on December 14, 2012, I was in a school as a teacher responsible for 7 innocent lives.  I was in a school building during the day that gave me the time to think about something that could happen in that building the same way it did in Newtown, Connecticut.


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