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.