I teach first grade.  Never before have those words held quite as much meaning as they do right now.  After the utter heartbreak of last Friday, I went back to work on Monday and found it so very hard to concentrate and simply do my job.  We were told to greet our students in the hall, to put on a happy face and welcome them all to school.  Of course we did – we would have whether we had been asked to or not.  We greet them every day, that’s what teachers do.  I smiled at each one, said good morning, but I was so very distracted.  I kept watching their faces, thinking of what I would do if someone tried to harm them.  I kept thinking of how I could protect them if a mad-man was in our building.  Those children are my kids, my students.  It almost made me sick to think of them being harmed in any way whatsoever.

Monday was a long, hard day.

Oddly, there were no questions.  Not one asked me about it or had a story to tell.  I praise their parents for keeping them shielded from the horror of it as much as possible.  The only words I got were at the end of the day.  One of my little fellows saw a parent in the building, one who had on the proper identification by the way, and he simply asked, “What is that stranger doing in our building?”  I knew where the question stemmed from but there were no direct statements about the horror of Friday.

My heart aches for the babies in Connecticut, for their parents, for the other students and teachers who survived.  I pray they can find peace again, that one day going to school will hold excitement instead of fear.  Dear Lord, please ease their painful memories.

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