BY CLAUDIA SWISHER
A glooming peace this morning with it brings;
The sun for sorry, will not show his head.
I passed an #oklaed school this morning.
Every teacher parking spot was filled. Teachers walked into their schools today, knowing the Oklahoma Legislature couldn’t compromise to find a budget that included a raise for teachers.
Teachers walked into their schools today, knowing another school had suffered devastating losses … lives, dreams, innocence.
As teachers we know and can empathize with how other educators feel. I’m not in the classroom, but here’s what I know happened today in classrooms all over Oklahoma, and all over our countries.
Teachers walked into their classrooms and sat down, praying for some composure before they saw their students.
Teachers looked around their rooms, trying to decide where the safest spots would be to shelter students in an attack.
Teachers tried to plan lessons that would engage their students and distract them all from the impact of yesterday’s shootings. Teachers greeted every student a little more warmly today. They looked into the eyes and the souls of their students and understood how vulnerable they all are in what should be the safest place in our society.
Teachers hugged students a little more closely today. They watched the swarm of students with more gratitude today, and with deep mourning for #Parkland, for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Teachers fought back tears … some were not successful.
Teachers worked hard to erase the images from yesterday of classrooms just like theirs, and the carnage. Aidan could have been my student … this classroom could have been mine. In truth, Aidan is mine. He is every teacher’s student. He is every adult’s son.
Teachers reflected on the teacher who gave his life: Aaron Feis. A teacher like them. A teacher at school doing his job. A teacher, who, like his students, did not come home last night.
And then we learned two other educators died in this massacre: Chris Hixon and Scott Beigel. Teachers like them. Teachers who tried.
The Romeo and Juliet quote always comes to my mind when sad things happen to schools, since the play is so closely connected to high schools. These are among the last lines in the play. But there are more:
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things:
Some shall be pardon’d and some punished …
The time for talking must come … and it must come soon. But that’s not what this piece is about. It’s about the teachers and students and parents who face today with fear, loss, resolve. And with love.
Teachers took a deep breath …
Teachers reached out and began their lessons.
– Norman resident Claudia Swisher is a fourth-generation educator, regional coordinator for Education Leadership Oklahoma and a National Board Certified Teacher