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Kiner's Korner: "Good Job, Teach!" and "God, Please Take Care of My Kids"

Written by Bill Kiner The Enfield Memorial Day Parade was another success. I stood on the grass near the Enfield Street School and watched as the marchers passed by. The young men and women got their due amount of applause from the spectators. But it was our police, firefighters and servicemen and servicewomen who garnered the most applause. And that was only right, for it is these people who put their lives on the line daily to protect us. But there was one group of men and women who were missing from the parade today - a group of men and women who you wouldn't expect to put their lives on the line, but who have done so in Newtown and in Oklahoma- teachers. We know (or should know) that to many students, their teachers are their heroes. Teachers go beyond teaching. With so many children coming from troubled homes, teachers are expected not only to mentor, but to nurture as well. And as was the case in Newtown and Oklahoma, even use their bodies as shields to protect their kids. Soldiers, police, and other first responders often place themselves in the line of fire. But is this a job description for teachers? In both Oklahoma and Newtown, had these teachers served in the military their heroic efforts would have earned them purple hearts, or other medals of valor. When the bell rings at the end of the day, and the children file out, teachers are still in teacher mode. They are working on the next day's activities, going to stores to buy supplies that their schools cannot afford, or spending time with children after school to give them the extra help and security that their kids need. The educators who died in Newtown, defending their kids, no longer have such opportunities. Principal Dawn Hochsprung, school psychologist Mary Sherlach, and teacher Vicki Soto put themselves between the gunman and the kids they loved so much. Anne Marie Murphy, a special education teacher, was found with one of her students in her arms. Rachel D'Avino and Lauren Rousseau also died trying to defend their children. And in Oklahoma, teachers there were no less brave than their counterparts in Newtown. Stories are still emerging. One teacher was named "the woman of steel". Rescue workers pulled a car off of a teacher who had shielded her students from the ravages of the tornado. This women shielded three children who lay beneath her and the car on top of her. As a rescue worker helped her his remark to her was "good job, teach" as he then broke into tears. A sixth grade teacher at Plaza Towers Elementary School threw herself over her children while hiding from the storm in the school's bathroom. The teacher later recounted what happened as the school was being destroyed: "One of my little boys just kept saying, 'I love you, I love you, please don't die with me"'. Rhonda Crosswhite, that 6th grade teacher told her kids "We're going to be fine. I am protecting you." and then she prayed "God, please take care of my kids" The next time someone says, "but they don't work summers", you can tell them, that's correct. Teachers work every day, mentoring, nurturing, and saving lives.
Kathie Steinert May 27, 2013 at 10:00 AM
Nice article and so true! Thanks for writing it!

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