On not being safe

How’s this for a headline?  “Teacher tries to help preschoolers stay alive.”  I nearly spit out my coffee this morning when I saw that one.

Preschool teacher Marisol Sierra, who teaches in the Chicago neighborhood where schoolkids are getting shot, has incorporated gun- and gang-safety into her preschool curriculum.  That’s worlds away from the usual curriculum of colors, shapes, ABCs, friendship, storytime, and counting, but it makes perfect sense.  It’s just incredibly sad at the same time.

I remember my first year of teaching kindergarten, in one of my city’s worst neighborhoods, when the little girls in the house corner would play “call 911 — my boyfriend is coming over to kill me!”  I had a police cap in my dress up box, and would put it on and come over to reassure them and let them know that they were safe.

I also had to put on my police cap when I saw the children in the house corner doing the “duck and cover”, dodging bullets.


3 thoughts on “On not being safe

  1. I feel so safe here. Bless you (and others like you) for working so hard to keep those little ones safe. We’re beginning to see those problems in our rapidly growing city, and my heart aches for the children who have to live with that kind of pain and fright. It is so true that children play what they know.

  2. Thanks, Mrs. V., you put it just right: “my heart aches for the children who have to live with that kind of pain and fright.”

    Sometimes your head just feels like it will explode if you think about what their lives are like, and how deeply WRONG it is for small children to live that way.

  3. My first teaching job was in a very tough neighborhood. It was almost impossible to get parents to school for a conference, and a lot of my third graders could barely read. Their lives were more concentrated on how to survive and get along with the older kids who pretty much ran the neighborhood. It is sad to think what some kids have to deal with instead of just having fun being kids.

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