Today was a good day.
I actually woke up when my alarm went off at 5, instead of hitting snooze until 6. I took a shower, got ready for work, kissed my children and husband good-bye, and left. It was a smooth ride until I got closer to school. The police presence and news crews increased the closer I got to campus. I waited about 20 minutes to turn left into the faculty lot. There weren’t any spaces, so I had to park far beyond where I usually do. I walked through the office, collected my mail, and came up to my new room.
My friend Andie, who is a guidance counselor at another school, was assigned to be with me all day. She and I worked together at my last school for almost ten years. It was comforting to have a familiar face in the room, supporting me as well as the kids.
The bell rang for class to begin. We were starting our day with 4th period. This was the class we were with when everything happened on 2/14. I hugged all of my students, one by one. They sat on rolly chairs and beanbag chairs in our new space. We talked about where they went when they heard the shots. I told them how glad I was that they were safe, and that they listened to me enough to know to run to the safest classroom. I told them how scared I was that I didn’t know where they went. The student who took my fire drill emergency folder out that day kept it with him over these two weeks; he returned it to me today with a laugh and a hug. They didn’t want to talk about what had happened or emote any more – they just wanted to spend time with their friends and be seniors. I let them.
We moved to first period. It was much of the same. I had a therapy dog, Woody, brought into the room. The kids just wanted to be together. I told them that I’m so proud of everything they’re doing, and everything they’ll do in the future.
Second, third and sixth periods were the same as the previous classes. Lots of hugs, loving up the therapy dogs.
Fifth period was a little more difficult. That is the class that lost Jaime. I got choked up when I mentioned her, and so did some of the kids.
Eighth period is when I have yearbook. We went over all of the tasks we have to accomplish in a very short amount of time. They’re all ready to get back to work, and are really eager to cover everything that has happened, and to honor those we lost.
After school, I did an interview with CNN. I feel so used to getting mic’d up & seeing myself on television. I never in a million years thought I would be contacted so often to speak out on things about which I am so passionate. I am glad to speak out for those who can’t or don’t want to.
I am exhausted. I was a long day. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.