Day 63: Mike, Dean of Students — Grade Eight

[ By on December 18, 2012 ]

Today was my first day back at work since the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, and I wish I could say it was a solemn event.  The fact is that it was Monday, like every other, only sadder.  I thought a little about what it meant to have the safety of eighty-nine Eighth graders in my hands, but mostly I thought about how I was going to fit in the next week’s worth of lesson plans.

Moving on is not unique to the job – most of us cannot take off from work just because we are disillusioned, hurt, or profoundly sad.  The difference is that going back to work for us means performing.  It means standing up in front of a classroom of children who are looking to us for cues for how to handle something that none of us can ever come to terms with.  It means letting them know that it is ok to be saddened, and that it is also ok to go on with the mundane.  I was reminded today how hard that can be.

Sandy Hook Elementary was closed today, but a day will come when it will open its doors to children again.  On that day, the teachers will need to stand up in front of their classes and perform once more.  It will be up to them to show the students of Newtown that adversity can and will be overcome, and it will be up to them to rebuild the sanctuary that every school needs to be.

I am honored and humbled to consider myself in the same profession with them.


Mike loves photography and chess, but most of all his wife, son, and daughter.


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