Saturday, May 17, 2008


When I dreamed of becoming a teacher never in my wildest dreams did I ever think of what that would truly and honestly entail. My young naive mind was full of fabulous lesson plans and fun bulletin boards and hugs from sweet young students and not the reality of what it would truly be like.

When I began teaching, never did I realize how much things would change over those 16 years and how often and how fervently I would pray- for my students, for their families, and for my fellow teachers.

Never did I dream that it would be necessary for me to think through what would happen if an armed intruder were to break into my classroom and have to consider where the safest place to arrange my students was so that if someone were to shoot a gun from the doorway or the window they would be protected.

Never did I dream that I would have to sit a room full of 10 year-olds down and explain why we had to practice for an intruder drill and what they should do if someone with a gun showed up on our campus.

Never did I dream that I would have to think about what I would do if one of my students was out in the hallway when I locked the classroom door and what I would do if they came and banged on the door- even if I had been told not to open the door (for fear that an intruder had them at gunpoint and would enter the room when the door was unlocked).

Never did I dream that as my students brought up "What if?" question after "What if?" question- that I would have to do some pretty fancy talking to keep from saying the whole truth which is that no matter what we do and how prepared we are- if someone is crazy enough and persistent enough- they can and will get into our schools and hurt people which is why they need JESUS in their lives- because He is the ONLY one who can save any of us.

Never did I dream that I would open the newspaper to find a former 5th grade student's mug shot and a story with details about his arrest and that it would break my heart and make me question if I had done all I could to help him.

Never did I dream that I would have something stolen (my digital camera- off my desk- yesterday) from my classroom and face the awful and terrible decision of deciding if I should file charges on that 14 year old student or not.

Never did I dream that I would wonder if maybe I should have chosen a different profession.

Never did I think that being a teacher would be so scary.

Never did I think that I would sit awake at night, unable to sleep, due to worry over all of these things (note the time of this post).

Never did I dream that teaching would break my heart.


But I was wrong.

Oh so very, very, very wrong.

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  1. Shannon, I am sad for you and teachers everywhere. My how times have changed. :(
    The little lives you have touched in your 16 years are better for knowing you, of that I am sure.

  2. I am so sad for you. I can't imagine having to think about those things on a daily basis. It would break my heart to hear a student banging at the door and not let him in. I am not sure I could do it.

    I pray that you are never put into a situation like that. EVER!

  3. Shannon,

    I don't know how you, and other teachers do your jobs these days. Your pour your hearts and souls into molding the next generation.
    What is happening here. My thoughts and prayers are with you.


  4. Shannon, I've been hit this week about kids, too. I don't see how you can do what you do.. It's becoming more and more a nightmare. I'm not surprised you can't sleep, sometimes. I pray for peace for you, the peace that you only get from Jesus.. I'm praying for you..

  5. I've wanted to be a teacher (high school math) for a long and on. Whenever I bring it up, though, my husband gives me a reality check. He works in the IT dept. for our local school district and one of the high schools is his responsibility. He spends a lot of time there...and is a little cynical as a result.

    But, remember, with every negative, there is a positive. Example: About 5 years ago, a family donated a portable defribillator to this same high school. Everyone thought it was a little silly and it's been just setting there unused this whole time. BUT 2 months ago, they had to use it...on a 15 year old boy. He lived.

    Good things do happen in schools. Your prayers are not in vain. I pray for those students, their teachers and the administrators too. Some days, I'm glad I didn't become a teacher...other days, I wish I had.

    Hugs to you, my sweet-hearted friend! :o)

  6. It is so sad and I can totally relate! If I thought about it, it would scare me every day to send my son to school and my husband to work, at a middle school!
    I remember having the same drills and talks when I taught full time.
    And, working preschool church ministry now, I think it's sad that we have the same talks and drills in 3 and 4 yr. old classes!!
    God needs godly people in our schools!! I've know doubt He has you there for a reason!!