When the Unexpected Happens
I wrote this post a while ago, but had my doubts on whether to publish it or not. Last Sunday, I came across this link on twitter: “I am a high school teacher. Yesterday one of my students was killed. What do I do in class tomorrow?“, I was so moved that I decided to share my story.
September 15th was a really sad day for us at school. A teacher died from a heart attack during our lunch break. It was just one of those situations you’d never expect to happen. I barely knew Mrs. A. I had only seen her a couple of times, but those few times were enough for me to know she was a passionate teacher, an educator who taught with her heart.
Everyone at school loved her, so the news spread really quickly. It was heartbreaking seeing my students crying. They had so many questions. They are too young to be dealing with death already… To be honest, I didn’t know what to do. I had never been in a situation like that before. I’d try to comfort one kid, but then another would be crying a few steps away. I didn’t know what to tell them and I was really sad too.
Stepping into my classroom, that day, was a real challenge. I was afraid, yes. I was sad, yes… but I couldn’t stop thinking about my students and how they were feeling. I had no choice but to trust my instincts, there is no lesson plan nor teacher training for that. I felt like a magician pulling out a magic trick bag in order to go on.
I decided to explain to them what had happened and I answered all of their questions. We prayed together and talked about her for a while. I made sure to focus on the good memories. I told them there was a new angel looking after them from that day on. This helped a lot, I could even see some of them started feeling better, but that wasn’t enough. I needed to see them smile again.
I then thought of our class blogs; if there’s one thing that makes my students happy is our blogs. So I decided to read to my students some of their posts and comments they had received. It was then, when I felt something different in the air. I could even see some changes on their faces. Soon after, they even smiled faintly and I could tell they felt slightly better.
Classes were canceled that day, so while we were reading our posts; many kids were being picked up by their parents. It was an awfully weird day. After some time there were only 6 students left in my classroom. So, we sat together on the floor and started talking. They kept asking me questions about me when I was kid and after sometime I could even tell they were enjoying it…
When I told them we should get ready to go home, none of them wanted to leave. I was a bit surprised. They even told me: “No, let’s stay here talking“;”I don’t want to go” ; “Please let’s hang out together a bit more” and things like that. Of course it was one of the saddest days in my life, but I somehow felt a bit better knowing I had helped those kids cheer up. I owed this to Mrs. A…