Tomorrow, I will walk into my classroom and turn the lights on. I will greet students as they enter. I will ask students to put away cell phones. I will take attendance. I will request missing homework assignments. I will teach vocabulary and discuss the complexities of “MacBeth”. I will read silently with my students. I will make a mental checklist of the closest exists. I will contemplate if in an emergency I could break the window with a chair next to my classroom library to get my students out. I will repress tears and the urge to vomit when I hear whispers from students about the videos taken of another school shooting. I will answer the same question I am asked every year in every period: “Mrs. A, would you protect us? Would you get shot for us?” I will respond: “Yes”. I will divert the conversation and continue with the lesson. Sadly, I will wait until the next time innocent children are targeted in a building where they should be safe to answer the question again, hopefully not in the same school year. I will turn off the lights after the dismissal bell and close my classroom door.
I am a teacher in America.