Teachers should carry books, not guns

by | Sep 12, 2022 | World

I will never forget the afternoon before my very first day as a middle school teacher in central New Jersey. Textbooks and worksheets sat strewn across my bed in the house I shared with my father. I was 25 years old and had just received my teaching license. My nerves were frayed – as every novice teacher knows, there is absolutely nothing more terrifying than a new classroom full of young people.On that day before school began, I had been obsessing over classroom procedures, introductory activities, and the first week’s lessons that I hoped would be engaging. I did not sleep much the night before and survived my first week of teaching on pure adrenaline. I wondered whether my students would like me and whether they would want to be in my classroom. I was desperate to earn their families’ trust and looked forward to the opportunity to forge relationships over the following year.
I was not preoccupied with escape routes, closets and cabinets in which to hide from bullets, or fears that a gunman might make his way into the school and down the hall to my English Language Arts classroom.
This was 16 years ago. My formal teacher preparation did not include workshops an …

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