December 29, 2012

Maine Voices: All we need to know about human decency, we learned at Newtown

Those tragic events make it clear that elementary educators bring both head and heart to their work.

By CAROLINE COLLINS SIECKE

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The other thing they do, six of them, is put themselves between a raving killer and the little people in their charge. In an act of selflessness I can't even begin to imagine myself capable of doing, they stood in the path of certain death, hoping it might make the difference for the 20 tiny lives they, collectively, put ahead of their own. When I think of the courage those women must have had to take that step, I can't even catch my breath. Imagine that. Imagine someone else loving your child so much, so freely, that she would be willing to take a bullet rather than save herself.

I can only hope that the last cognizant realization those little souls had before the darkness enveloped them was the sight of someone standing up for them, between their frail bodies and the evil about to strike. I hope their last impression of life on this earth was of the concern and caring these women embodied. I hope the final emotion that overcame their little psyches wasn't fear or sorrow or grief but love, love, love, love.

I hope we never forget the value of those who spend their careers caring for the smallest, wiggliest, goofiest, neediest and most vulnerable members of our society. I hope the Newtown teachers' sacrifice leaves a lasting impression on the world they left behind.

Caroline Collins Siecke is a former social studies teacher at Windham High School who now lives and teaches middle school students in Exeter, N.H.

 

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