What It's Like To Be A Future Teacher Thinking About School Shootings

What It's Like To Be A Teacher-In-Training In A Country That Can't Stop School Shootings

For most of us, school shootings are tragedies that we hear or see on the news, but for teachers, it is a reality.

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The rate of school shootings has risen 59% since records of shootings began in 1970. Me personally, I believe in the right to bear arms but under the right circumstances as well as after going through the proper training and certification. Of the 97 shooting in 2018, 56 people lost their lives; teachers, Children, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and everything in between. As someone whose mother is a teacher, it is terrifying to think that at any moment someone could walk in and start shooting. I soon realized that even though I was scared for her, that she had to be scared for the twenty-something children in her classroom whom she is responsible for. What goes through a teachers mind when they hear about school shootings?

I was recently talking to my roommate, who is an education major, and we started talking about school shootings so I decided to ask her some questions about how school shootings have affected her.

As an education major, what goes through your mind when you hear about school shootings?

"That might be me one day, and as hard (and sad) as it is to think about it, that's the reality of the world we live in. I am going to be responsible for two-dozen children who aren't even old enough to multiply yet."

Was the thought of a school shooting happening to you something that factored into your decision to become a teacher?

"When I went into education, it wasn't a thought that crossed my mind. You don't want to think about stuff like that, and especially that it could happen to you. Even after I decided to become a teacher, the thought of someone shooting up the school didn't make me not want to do what I loved 'Don't let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game'"

When did you realize that school shootings were a possibility?

"After the Florida school shooting in 2016, I had just changed my major to education and I started thinking like, what would I do if that happened? How would I react? But it wasn't until I was a student teaching this semester that the reality really set in. We had a shooting drill where we, me, the teacher, and the students, had to hide behind the teacher's desk in the corner.

"Even though it was only practice, some of the kids were still scared and as I was comforting them I started thinking, what if this actually happened? Would I be able to comfort them the same way I am now? Would I be able to protect all of them? Would I be able to react fast enough? You can try and mentally prepare yourself for something like that but it is totally different when you see the fear and confusion on the kid's faces, even just in a drill."

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The Month Of April For A College Student As Told By Chandler Bing

Could you BE anymore stressed?
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April. It's the time of the school year where every college student is hanging by a thread.

The weather is warm, the classrooms are warmer. Partying is an option at any given moment, but unfortunately, all of those exams, group projects and looming finals do not give af. This dynamic creates a certain type of pain only those living through it can manage to explain.

That is, of course, in addition to Chandler Bing (some of you may know him as Chanandler Bong), who can always help us empathize during times like these.

1. When your professor assigns that last reading assignment

2. When people keep telling you they're done with their finals

3. When all of the work gets to you and you have your fifth mental breakdown this week.

SEE ALSO: What It's Like To Be A College Student In April

4. After every single day in the month of April

5. Once the hopeless procrastinating turns into yet another mental breakdown

6. That feeling when you're studying for a cumulative final

7. After hours of studying, your mind begins to wander

8. When you're home for Easter and your family asks, "how are your grades?"

9. When you decide to try to test our your skills in areas besides what you're studying for

How about marketing? ..no... definitely not that one.

10. When you know you're going to fail, so you start to rethink life

SEE ALSO: Junior Year As Told By 'The Office'

11. You start planning your death because you're sure you can't make it through this month

12. When you finish your last final

13. When the random kid who never went to class all semester shows up for the final and steals your seat

Bonus: Now all you can think is:

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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With More Lost To Mass Shootings Every Week, When Will It Finally End?

The tragedy never stops.

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There are three more people dead this week, lost to the pandemic of mass shootings and domestic terrorism.

Jeremy Richman, 49 years old. Sydney Aiello, 19. Calvin Desir, 16.

What mass shooting? I can hear you asking. When? Why I haven't I heard about it?

You probably did hear about it.

We lost Jeremy Richman to the Sandy Hook Massacre in 2012. Both Sydney Aiello and Calvin Desir, to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas massacre on Valentine's Day of 2018. The first anniversary for the latter has just passed, while the 5th anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting was December 14th.

All three survived these shootings. All three took their own lives.

This is a painful reminder that death doesn't stop when the shooting has stopped.

Jeremy Richman lost his 6-year-old daughter, Avielle, in the Sandy Hook massacre of 2014. Afterward, he started his own foundation and told Anderson Cooper that he was simply doing his best to get out of bed every morning. He was a neuroscientist, who strove to understand why such violent behavior occurs in the first place. Of his daughter's death, he said," It's such a shock to the system, that you just feel displaced like the world is spinning and you are not and you are just going to get thrown off of it. We came to the idea that we were going to create a foundation in her honor." He strove for justice and reason in a world that took the most precious thing from him.

It has been six and a half years, but the trauma never leaves you. Even though Jeremy was apparently functioning in his day to day life, the recent autopsy confirmed his death a suicide.

Sydney Aiello recently graduated from high school. She was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as well as survivors guilt. On her twitter, she expressed empathy for people like Robin Williams and Anthony Bourdain, who seemed cheerful before their suicides. She was going to go into the medical field, liked yoga, cheerleading, and brightening people's days, according to her family's Gofundme account. Her mother said that she was struggling in college, because classrooms now scared her, only reminding her of the incident. She lost her close friend, Meadow Pollack in the shooting. Meadow's brother, Hunter, tweeted his agony about losing Sydney as well. Her bright smile and bubbly personality will certainly be missed.

Within a week of Sydney's death, Calvin Desir, 16, killed himself. He too was described as a wonderful person, who wouldn't hurt a fly, described by his family as soft-spoken, selfless, and someone who would never hurt a fly. He enjoyed riding his bike, cooking, trying new recipes, and spending time with his sisters.

A year, six and a half years later, 10 years. The pain will never go away.

Experts say that in mass killings like these, "particularly in schools, where we expect to be safe, the incidence of PTSD afterward can be very high." Primarily because the location is one where students, faculty and parents alike expect safety to be found.

If nothing can or will be done to prevent tragedies like these, before they happen, put energy into giving the survivors proper mental health care. Especially as we face more and more people who will be dealing with the aftermath of such events. Remember the risk factors, anniversaries, illnesses, life transitions, birthdays, things that may make them feel guilty for living while others don't.

Memorize the signs of survivors guilt, PTSD and of suicide. If you can, donate money to a research or prevention fund, like those that can be found here.

Most importantly, remember to be kind and warm, like the three we lost were. Make the world a kinder place than the one they left.

Sydney, Jeremy, and Calvin will be missed dearly, by both those who knew them and those who didn't. Rest in peace.

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