Well, a third school shooting has taken place, and I guess I'm pretty much at a loss for words.
I understand that there are various professions that one can enter with a risk for bodily harm, but I had already begun my student teaching when Columbine happened in early 1999. I did not go into teaching with the idea that I could die doing it.
This past week and its violence has spurred further thoughts about my choice of profession. I accept lower pay, I accept unpaid overtime, I accept parent phone calls and the occasional school prank. But, I will not die for my job. It's not worth it. Even my best student, my brightest shining star, isn't worth my life. There are some teachers who will say otherwise; there are many teachers who devote their lives to this profession and I applaud them because I am not one of them.
I don't think that anyone, teachers or students, principals, cafeteria workers, custodians, should have to live in fear on a daily basis. Bush has half the country off on the other side of the world defending the country against terror: Where is the terrorism protection in my school? Where is it in Colorado? In Wisconsin? In Pennsylvania? Why aren't American schools equally important?
If I get out, if I give up, then the problem is out of my hands. But, the teacher in me says that I do make a difference, and if I'm in the mix on a day to day basis, maybe I can do something to help. I tell my kids all the time 'If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.' The question is, am I willing to become a part of the problem if it means I won't be shot and killed in my classroom...