This blog is a result of me just having to grab my computer and type – type about dealing with tragedies that happen in everyday life and then carry over into the classroom.
With everything that happens in this world, we all need support. We all search for answers. Our students especially search for answers. I hope that when I go to work tomorrow, none of my students will ask about the tragedy in Boston today. I hope that I won’t have to try to explain the inexplicable. Why do bad things happen? Why would someone do something like that to people who are just running a race?
When the tragedy happened at Sandy Hook, surprisingly, none of my students came to school with questions. More often than not, our little guys are exposed to the news. They see things, they hear things, they wonder. So I came to school ready to calm fears and give massive hugs. I squeezed my kids so hard that Monday, but answered no questions. Not a one.
So tomorrow, I’m hoping for the same thing. I’m hoping just to hand out hugs and not answers about tragedy. But not every teacher will have that luxury. If you teach upper grades, the bombings in Boston may be the hot topic of conversation. And, being the literacy person I am, I have some book suggestions that could help with conversations. Some are vague and can be translated across events. Others are more explicit. I also can’t help but feel that this is the perfect time to revisit community helpers in primary classrooms. Let’s reiterate the roles of police, fire, and rescue workers in our communities – and their valuable contributions, especially in times like these.
A book about friendship, loss, change – Our Tree Named Steve by Alan Zweibel
Dealing with worrying – Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes
Poems dealing with loss – What Have You Lost? by Naomi Shihab Nye
Violence and war – Why? by Nikolai Popov