Monday, October 02, 2006

Heart Behind These Hands

We had a lock-down drill today at school.  It was a surprise to the faculty - usually we get advanced notice of such things, but I didn't think too much about the lack of notice, since the administration is terrible about communication.  Since I've gotten home, though, and was able to watch the news, I'm wondering about the motivation for the drill.

During a lock-down, we're supposed to turn off the lights, lock and shut the doors, and keep the students absolutely quite.  Yeah.  Try keeping a group of middle-schoolers quiet for even 30 seconds under normal circumstances.  Keeping them quiet for several minutes in total darkness - well, it's difficult.  After the drill, I explained the point of the rules - what if there was a gunman in the school?  The point is to keep the gunman guessing which rooms are empty.  I mentioned the drills we did when I lived in LA.  A student said, "Yeah, but that's LA.  It won't happen here."

I am amazed at his naivete in one sense - how can he still think that, given what's happening in schools?  Is it a good thing that he's innocent, or is it unwise?

I'm debating whether to change the writing prompt for my English class tomorrow.  Should I have students reflect on these things, or would that be 'too troubling for these children'?  

This is one of those days when I feel the weight of my profession.

In a tangent that originally wasn't related, I was doing some math today and I realized that I interact directly with over 120 people on a daily basis.  120+ kids.  Again, weight.  What kind of contact am I making with so many students passing through my room in so few hours?

1 comment:

  1. We usually have a good talk every year about how "nothing ever happens here". It's a good talk to have. If Amish children aren't safe in their one room school house, if Colombine happened, if 168 people lost their lives in Oklahoma City before we even had Starbucks, no place is safe unless we make it so.

    I'd love to know how this talk comes out for you. You do good work.