As a teacher, how often do you face a situation where you don't have the answer?
At least a possible answer...
Well tomorrow will be one of those days.
What will Monday bring?
My school district's position is to reassure students they are safe, and we will review our policies.
That sounds very official.
How does that look to my kids?
So being a person of action, I think I have devised a plan.
I am sharing this with you, in hopes that it helps someone.
I have heard all the experts on every channel talking about what kids need. I hope my plan honors that.
A little background about my 5th grade class.
This year my kids have really struggled with respecting each other. Members of my class have issues with kicking and pinching each other. We have also had incidents of targeted bullying.
So at the beginning of the year, I started doing a weekly social skills lesson, in addition to the counselor's bi weekly lesson.
Monday morning, coincidentally is our weekly social skills lesson time.
I am going to start with a thumbs up, thumbs down, undecided activity using these two questions:
How much have you heard about Sandy Hook Elementary School?
How comfortable are you with people talking about the news story?
My goal is not going to be informing students of the news. My goal is to find out who has been exposed to the information and images or if any of my kids are potentially going to spread misinformation that may put fear in the other kids.
If there are a large amount of students who aren't comfortable with people talking about Sandy Hook, I will ask that all of my students respect that and make the choice not to talk about it.
Then we will talk about our school motto: Be respectful. Be responsible. Be safe.
First, we are going to focus on "Be safe." We are going to discuss what to do if we have a drill of any kind and you are out in the building, hallways, restrooms, or out at recess. We will also talk about the importance of listening to adults and following directions during all drills.
If we have enough time, we will talk about "Be respectful." That Golden Rule I keep trying to impress upon them.
Treat others the way you want to be treated.
Listen when others are speaking, because you want others to listen to you.
Keep your hands to yourself, because you don't want people touching you.
Use good manners, like holding the door for someone, because you would want someone to help you out if you were in need.
As I try to think of what Monday morning will bring, I hope my planning helps.
One thing is for sure, as I stand at my door Monday morning, I will greet my students with a high five and smile, like always. Because that's what my kids need. Routine.
All the while, I will be thinking of the teachers in Newtown. I will be wishing them thoughts of prayer and healing.
Here is a link that my counselor sent this morning! Talking to Kids about Sandy Hook