A week ago at this time, millions of us in the world had never even heard of Uvalde, Texas. Now we can’t get it out of our heads. The sad part is that the focus should be on the senseless killing of innocent children and teachers, of the injured including the shooter’s own grandmother. Instead it has become a political gong show about who is to blame. This makes the tragedy even worse.
Accounts detailing the shooter’s biography are chilling. A victim of bullying. A history of violence. A son of a drug addict. And most disturbing that he legally purchased two rifles prior to the shooting and posted photos on his Instagram account.
My kids attended a private elementary school back in the 80s in Canada. The school had a security system and the doors were always locked. Here we are decades later and Robb Elementary had a door left propped open. With the track record here in the USA regarding school shootings, a door propped open during school hours? Absolutely reprehensible!
The mother instinct is a strong one. How dare they handcuff a woman who in desperation was trying to protect her children! Other angry parents begged for the Kevlar vests that the police had because law enforcement merely sat back and didn’t do anything. Perhaps more mothers are needed on the police forces.
My heart goes out to the families of the victims. I can only imagine how helpless they felt while the shooting was going on and how horrific the grieving is now that it’s over. We need to pray not only for these families, but for all of America, a country in crisis.
People First NOT Politics First.
I’m retired now, but I’m often asked what kinds of challenges I faced while teaching English here in Mexico. I basically divide them into two distinct areas….. actual English teaching in the classroom and the challenges associated with the difference in the culture here from up north.
In the classroom, aside from the obvious grammar and pronunciation, there were the more abstract things included in the curriculum. I always found the topic of white lies versus black lies a challenge. There was always that one student who insisted that his steady girlfriend of so many years didn’t need to know about the new woman in his life because he wasn’t sure which one he wanted to be with until he got to know the new one better. He’d tell his girlfriend he was going out for a beer with the guys instead. In his eyes this was no different than telling a friend his new shirt was amazing even though he really thought the shirt was hideous.
Classroom management was definitely an adventure. Teacher aides for students with behavioral issues such as autism simply do not exist here. At one private school where I taught I had one student who consistently tried to climb out of a second story window when he wasn’t interested in the topic we were studying at the moment. Needless to say, his behavior always disrupted the entire class.
As a teacher, students rely on you for far more than just teaching them English. They often came to me with personal problems. The culture here is different, and I was always cautious, especially when it came to teenagers. Many problems students struggle with are really quite universal, adults and children alike, no matter which country you live in.
But these challenges pale in comparison with what teachers face today in light of COVID-19. The additional responsibility for providing safety from infection to students is huge, not to mention that teachers are putting their own lives at risk the moment they step into the classroom.
There is so much controversy about whether or not schools should open again when the virus is still surging. Here in Mexico the schools will not open this month. My heart goes out to teachers everywhere else in the world where schools are reopening. I admire your dedication and I pray for your safety.