We all have moments that we will remember forever. I have been blessed most of my memorable memories are blessings that I am thankful for. But when you have been teaching for 25 years there are those moments when you freeze, cry, and place one step in front of the other. Because you have 24 students waiting for you in Room 228.
As I heard about Sandy Hook during my plan time, I froze in my steps as I watched TV. I cried as I walked down the hall to my classroom and tried to pull myself together. We were told not to say anything to our students. When I entered our classroom, we gathered everyone on the floor and we read together. That evening as I drove home from school, I called our daughter who is teaching in South Carolina and our son who was away at college. I just had to hear their voices. My last call was to my mom to tell her I was alright and I loved her too.
I got home and I froze. What could I do? How could I help? I posted January 1, 2013 that I was going to do 26 Random Acts of Kindness this year. I carried an index card in my wallet all year and wrote the date when I performed my 26 acts. All year I was thinking, praying for those families and trying to do my small random acts throughout this year.
What I was reminded continuously about my OLW: gratitude is that I am blessed. Our family is blessed. Throughout the entire year, I walked through my school and saw children laughing, reading, talking and learning. I listened to conversations that were exhilarating and heart wrenching, but I knew I at least got to hear them. I had easy parent meetings, and I extremely difficult parent meetings but I was lucky to have the chance to talk and listen. Several times I heard myself saying to my students, "Let's remember how fortunate we are at BES." "Let's take the time to say thank you and remember to hug your parents." in the back of my mind knowing that not every parent would have a hug that night. There is no way I will ever begin to understand, but I am thankful I chose to do #26Acts. I know I am stronger and have more gratitude as 2013 comes to a close.