School safety. We have become a profession ruled by crazies who have taken unnecessary lives for no reason, other than sheer insanity. It is sad. This year I have taken it a step further for class safety. For kids that get ill or let’s face it, I am fifty-nine, for me and my health. I have never had this before but my school BFF (former cop) gave me the fabulous idea. I have a team. Each member will have a job whether if it’s to save a member of our classroom community or their leader of the pack.
The conversation happened on day two…safety and job day. They filled out applications, but frankly, I rolled up with the kids. I know who needs extra work and to feel helpful like the back of my hand. But today’s conversation was different as the simple jobs were already assigned. I set the stage with a true example of a child getting violently ill in my class. It was life or death in my eyes, as the condition was rare, and quite frankly the most serious lifelong disease, I have ever had faced with a young one in my classroom. My kids sat silent and two helped save her life. One by phone, as I held her in my arms and the other highfooted it to the nurse. All went well, and she is now in her 20’s. That day is etched in my mind forever, as was the care and community that rallied without question. This story brought rare silence to my current chatty group. They understood a student could get ill from dehydration to a true daily illness they fight in silence. This was easy to understand. Next came the honesty about their fearless leader.
“Kids, I am fifty-nine.” Silence (they knew this) but 7th graders knew the sudden direction of the chat. Out of the blue I hear. “No, Mrs. L you are not going anywhere.” I looked around tears were in their eyes. I back-peddled and told them of course I am not going anywhere, as I have too much to do. Since fear set in, I created a variety of clumsy scenarios in where I could end up on the ground with a broken body part. That made them happy and I heard sounds of relief. But the show had to go on and choose my true safety team for the lives of our community and mine.
Now, it was real. Certain kids wanted nothing to do with it, as one stated, “I would freak, what would we do without you?” One cried. My solids stood up and some, who I questioned, were certain. The narrative was to save Mrs. L and I now was seeing young teens become responsible. I hugged my two criers and reassured them and jotted down my team, and their personal responsibilities will be chosen at lunch this week with a twist, they have to decide what their role should be in a crisis and recognize their strengths and weaknesses.
I am proud of my kids. We have curriculum galore to master this year but we are starting off the year mastering some true life skills, that they will take into their lives forever.