Learning From Tragedy

I don’t normally write about these types of events on my website. I try my best to keep my writing to leadership, travel that I have done and some observations. So, maybe this falls into the observations side. The tragedy that happened Friday, Dec 14 in Newtown, CT is one that hit home to me in many ways. First, I am a parent and a grandparent. I really don’t know how I would feel if this happened directly to me. I do know, that I was touched deeply while watching this unfold on TV. I was putting myself right in the middle of this as a parent and grandparent. Also, I am married to a school teacher! I guess, I got hit both ways.

As a parent, we only want a safe environment for our kids to grow and develop in. We used to think that school was a safe environment for them. Over the years, we have seen that college and high school are not safe places. Now we get to add elementary school to our list. By most accounts, schools are safe places. The school staff do their best efforts to attempt to provide that safe haven while our children are there. Over the next few days and weeks, schools will be looking at their procedures and make some necessary changes. We as parents will probably complain a bit about the changes that impact our way of doing things. We may not agree with some of those changes.. But remember those changes are there for the students and staff to insure that the safety is priority one.

Being married to a teacher is something special to me. I have watched and helped her for many years. I know for a fact, that she will do whatever it takes for her students. She works extremely long hours to make sure her students are well prepared. We are hearing the accounts of the teachers at Sandy Hook did for their students. I bet that almost every teacher would do the same… I have no doubt in my mind, that my wife would be a shield for her students if someone was going to harm her students. She is the one, that you can see walking her students across the road and is in-between the students and any on-coming traffic. I pray that she will never have to encounter what happened in Newtown, CT while she is teaching.

Watching her over these past few days has shown me how much she really cares about her students. The disturbing part, she is questioning why she is teaching. She has commented that more and more is added to the teachers plates from the state, school districts and parents. Year after year, more parents are questioning the school and especially the teachers on how they are handling their child. Many times if something is brought up to the parents about their child, the parent usually deflects or denies what is being said. Some good advice I got as a parent, “before you lash out at the teacher, listen and learn what is truly going on and act appropriately.” We may not always agree with what is said, but remember the teacher is really there for your child’s education. That teacher is with your child and another 20+ students for most of the day. They truly do care.

My lessons from this tragedy:

  •  I will not waste an opportunity to make sure I hug and say “I love you.”
  •  Be more observate of my surroundings. You just never know.
  •  Thank those hard working and dedicated teachers that educate my grand kids. They have a tough job and do their best…

I am extremely proud of the work that my wife has done and will continue to do. I would tell any parent, you are lucky to have her as your child’s teacher. I get to see the behind the scenes stuff… She is my hero!

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