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This week, I am simply unable to write anything about teaching in The Chalkboard Life. We have once again witnessed unimaginable loss in a classroom, and anything else blanches to insignificance.
One thing I think has been helpful in the Black Lives Matter movement is the reminder to #SayTheirNames. We see these awful news stories, and we so easily forget that these are valuable human lives - real people - cut short by tragedy. Confucious said that the beginning of wisdom is to use the proper name of something you are trying to understand.
So my newsletter this week will simply do that. Most of the tributes have listed the children’s names first, and that is appropriate. Their beautiful lives cut short so young. Their parents simply sending them to school in the morning, with a packed lunch of carrots and a sandwich, having convinced them it is too early in the year to wear their halloween costume.
Because this newsletter focuses on teachers, I will start with their names. We lost two in this tragedy. Two people dedicating their lives to the proper instruction and citizenship of their charges, faithful to the end.
I encourage you to say these names to yourself as you read them. And then consider forwarding this letter to someone else who might consider doing the same.
Makenna Lee Elrod
Amerie Jo Garza
Maite Yuleana Rodriguez