Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Subject Matter: Job Description

I was having lunch when one of my colleagues [who was browsing on her iPhone] shared what she just read on her email...  The Sandy Hook Elementary Massacre. All of us having lunch that time was just appalled by the sad news. As people who work in an educational institution, we all thought that it was just another horrible news. I thought wrong.
Then, it was time to play teacher again. I went back in the classroom and forgotten all about the news. I had a duty to carry on - to watch the little ones play in the school playground before they go to their respective "special" classes. It was one fine cloudless afternoon but seasonably chilly day... and hundreds of miles away from Newtown Connecticut.
The day went on and my kids spent the last hour of the day at the computer lab. After I put the kid the I am working with in the bus it was then time for my next job - the Before and After Care. And the day went on just like any other day but with fewer kids checked in.
We went outside and play. The news about the massacre totally escaped me until one of the parents who came to pick up his child told me about it again. I just gave him a nod and that was all about it.

It wasn't until I was home and watching TV when I fully understood everything. And it was not until I saw the pictures of those little ones being flashed on our TV set that the whole scenario sank in.
I was crying the whole time I was watching TV and I choked up a couple of times when I tried to hold back the tears. It was not a sad news... it is a gruesome and dreadful news that even for someone who has no child of its own like me can't take because it was too much to take in.


I work in the classroom again. Yes, after 3 years of being an out-of-school teacher, I am back. This is actually my 2nd year as a part-time Educational Technician. Though I am not a full-pledged teacher I am happy that I finally get my feet back in the 4-corners of the classroom and working with the children in a school setting again. It's totally the extreme opposite of what I am used to but the feeling is the same.
I work in the Kindergarten classroom now. As compared to what I was used to 15 years back, it may be a little bit different but the excitement is the same. The stress and the pressure is the same. And the non-monetary rewards and benefits are the same. But this is not about my new-found happiness of being in the classroom. It is about my job description as an educator.
As an educator, it is in my basic job description to educate, nurture, mold and help children to achieve their full potential, make good choices and be responsible citizens. But beyond that, I know also that my it is my job to protect them from harm be it physically, mentally, morally and psychologically, as well.
After an entire weekend of TV shows all dedicated to the fateful event in Newtown, Connecticut I finally stopped and reflected. What would I do if I was confronted with the same. I had to admit I had goosebumps as of this writing just thinking about it because I work with kids of the same age group... 6 and 7 in Mrs. Roberts' Kindergarten Class. And to think that Room 36 is the first classroom when you enter the door, the more I feel horrible.
That unthinkable event could happen anywhere. It could happen anytime. It may not be in the classroom. It could be in the playground. The possibility is scary. I am a teacher and I am sure will die as one but hopefully not in the same manner as the 6 other victims of the massacre. But then, I most probably do the same thing that Victoria Soto did if I was in her shoes - shield my children with my own body from the bullets of the gunman... not because I have no choice but because I wouldn't know how to confront the parents of my children under my care with a question - what did you do to protect my child?
It may not be literally written in my job description "to die for my students" but I'm sure any teacher will sacrifice her life for the sake of her student. It may be the most heroic thing to do but I believe no teacher will do anything heroic just for the sake of being a hero but for the love of her students. And I believe that it is possible for any teacher to do everything in her power to save her students from harm because it is in her DNA.

To all the Victims of The Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre... my prayers and thoughts are with you and your families.

To all the Heroes of the Fateful Event, my prayers and thoughts go with you as well. I am sure that your teachers are so proud of you all for living the lessons you learned from them.

To all my Students... former and present... thank you for the opportunities you gave me to be a part of your education and life learning experiences.

* Ruthi Orona-Gregoire

Ruthilicious... absent in the Classroom, present in the Chatroom. She blogs when she is NOT Facebooking doing chores and she blogs while she is ALSO Facebooking doing chores.

To read more about her Teaching-Learning Experience... Click HERE.


kulasa said...

I was teary eyed while reading...lost for words and breathing in and breathing out while remembering the victims of that event I can not even put a name to because it is just too painful to think of...I've been missing you on FB and I think it is because you are now back in the classroom and I am delighted for you because I know your heart is truly made for teaching- nurturing and caring...I am with you in prayer always sis, may nothing like that tragic incident ever happen again...keep doing what you do best...take care always friend :)

Self Sagacity said...

it was good reading about you Ruthi and how you've found your way back to doing what you love. But yes, the horrific event did not help that you are in the same setting.

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