I still don’t know

I have lived my life, for the past 27 years, accepting that there are things that I do not, and will not understand. While I can read and read and read a myriad of topics and research based on my own questioning, I will never understand certain things.

Prior to this week I had a draft all typed up and ready to post. It was about the color purple, and what I have learned about humans perception of color (it’s really interesting, but you will have to wait for that one). But, I can’t help but think that it is my duty to be honest on this platform. And, honestly- what’s on my mind, and what I learned is much bigger than the color purple.

When I turn on the news lately, I expect to hear of tragedy. Unfortunately the news is always full of murder, wreckage, and trauma. When I turned on the news to see the tragedy that happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School I was angry. I am still angry. I am angry that students keep dying. I am angry that politicians are quantifying death, and using the lives lost as a commentary of what teachers are responsible for. But, mostly, I am angry that I have to choose who I speak to about this anger.

Because what I didn’t know that I didn’t know is that this tragedy is making people who have little to no experience in the classroom experts on what goes on there. I have strangers, and friends on social media that are spewing opinions about what I need to do in the situation of an active shooter. People trying to arm me. Trying to make my classroom akin to a gun cabinet. And I didn’t know that it would hurt so much.

As a teacher we focus our every breath on helping and growing the children that we see everyday. We make their well being our daily bread, and their growth as humans the butter. My students are my life, and I am sick of seeing them afraid.

This week has made me realize that the people who are saying these things are just as ignorant, scared, and mad as I am. I realize that the reason everyone is arguing is because we are all feeling similar things and none of us know the answer- and that is scary.

I didn’t know that I didn’t know how hard being a teacher would be. I didn’t know that I still don’t know how to speak to my students about tragedy. I didn’t know that I don’t know how to make this type of school violence stop happening. And most importantly- I didn’t know that I don’t know how to understand the people who are hurting our kids.

Learning new things is fun, and understanding is exciting. But realizing that you may never understand is terrifying.

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3 thoughts on “I still don’t know

  1. The state of our society is extremely painful to watch, I agree. Trying to understand what drives people to do the things that they do does leave me perplexed many days. I recognize the good and evil of the world which leads me to understanding that there is more and more evil taking place, but still makes me wonder why people make the choice to take another person’s life. Similar questions come to my mind as well when I evaluate our culture – why do people choose to drink too much and get behind the wheel? Why do people inject drugs into their bodies and enter into a rage induced killing spree? Why do women have children only to leave them uncared for and neglected? It all comes down to choice. People have choices and no matter how many regulations we put on things evil people will always find a way to cause harm. It’s a harsh reality that no one likes to look at…especially when we want to see the good in people. Unfortunately, there are those that aren’t interested in doing good.

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  2. Thanks for this post. Your honest observations, “I didn’t know it would hurt so much,” was a powerful one to read. I also deeply appreciate your concluding thought, here, that learning is fun but sometimes learning is also terrifying. It’s true. Yes, I agree that this time the intersection between mass shooting and schools is intense and is causing great hurt among many of us. Debates around gun rights and school safety are touching nerves I don’t know that we have touched before, despite there being so, so many school shootings. I hope we can come together as a nation and find ways to address gun violence of all kinds. Honest sharing of feelings, like you are doing here, seems like an important step toward that hope.

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  3. I understand your frustration and the terrifying feeling it seem, as a teacher, specially after having realized that you will soon be required to carry a conceal gun with you while teaching the children. This problem is not going a way as long as money continued to be the mean to achieve everything we do. The wants, or rather ” the love of Money” is the reason why there are those who defense the sale of guns in the name of a right to own one. I wonder if we will see a solution in the near future. While some humans in their nature will always have certain biological and environmental induced disorders, having such people accessible to things, or in this case guns,which they can use to harm others seem like this is where the law failed.

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