by David Safier
There's the story out of the Oklahoma town devastated by today's tornado of a teacher who took the six children in her charge into a bathroom and laid on top of them so any falling or collapsing debris would injure her first. She put her body on the line to protect her children from harm.
We keep hearing stories like this about teachers in emergencies and disasters — not the occasional heroic teacher, but the majority of them who do whatever they can to protect their students when they're confronted with horrific, life-or-death situations. We expect police and fire responders to put themselves in harm's way — that's the job they chose — but teachers without the necessary training, without the desire to confront danger? They didn't sign up for that duty, yet when they have to, teachers perform nobly and heroically, again and again.
Let's stop belittling our teachers, shall we? Let's give them credit for doing whatever they can for the sake of the children in their classrooms and in their schools, day after day. They don't do it in obvious, heroic ways. That's not the way their worlds are structured most of the time. But that's the kind of love, care and devotion to their children that motivates them in their daily teaching duties.