A Pre-Service Teacher's Thoughts On Having A Gun In The Classroom

A Pre-Service Teacher's Thoughts On Having A Gun In The Classroom

I can’t wait to become a teacher, but it would really make me think twice if I knew I would have to go through gun training in order to teach students about literature.
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I’m reluctant as I write this piece... I do not want to keep bringing up this topic again and again when the news and social media seem to be covering it repeatedly. However, as a pre-service teacher, I have been asked the question from my friends, family, and professors: “How would you feel about carrying a weapon in your classroom?”

It is an important topic to cover and think about, especially for teachers and those who are about to enter the profession. The truth is that it is something that is on our minds, whether we like to think about it or not.

What motivated this question to spread was the Parkland, Florida high school shooting that tragically happened on Friday, February 14th of this year. Unfortunately, this is not the first school shooting, but it is revving up a conversation about “what do we do?”—a question that is six years overdue.

I think that teachers, law enforcers, and policy makers are all at a loss of an agreement of what needs to be done to prevent such horrible events from reoccurring.

I came across an article that had talked about a tweet from President Trump on Saturday, February 24th regarding the act of having “armed educators.” My gut reaction was “are you kidding me?,” but I took some time to really think about how I would feel as an educator and possibly keeping a gun in my classroom.

So, when I was asked the question about how I felt about this idea, I was ready with a fairly secure answer.

I would not be okay with carrying a weapon in my classroom…for many reasons.

The first being that no amount of training could prepare me for a situation such as the one that happened in Florida. I could practice using a gun and proper etiquette and learn when and how to use it. However, the reality of the matter is, if I’m put into a situation where it needs to be used, there’s a psychological factor that has not been accounted for.

I don’t know if I would freeze or if I would flee, if I could stay calm or if I would panic. There’s no way to train a human how to mentally react to that, even if there is training for that portion–we as humans are incredibly unpredictable and complex.

Another reason is that I have personally never had a desire to have a gun or shoot a gun, and I don’t want to start when I go into my profession. I know there are gun enthusiasts, people who just go to a range to shoot, and so on. But frankly, I have zero interest in that. Always have and always will.

I can’t wait to become a teacher, but it would really make me think twice if I knew I would have to go through gun training in order to teach students about literature.

I don’t want students to wonder where my gun is. I don’t want them to search for it. I don’t want them to see me standing at the front of the class and try to picture a gun in my hands.

As someone who was once a high school student myself, I wouldn’t want to think of my teachers in this way, either. High school is not a place of innocence–I know that. But aren’t we trying to avoid it being a place of violence?

I can deny this idea all I want, but I really don’t have a solution to this question of “what do we do?” I’ve pondered over it (probably more than I should have) and have even discussed with fellow pre-service teachers, current teachers, and parents of students, and we still can’t come to a consensus on what’s appropriate and right.

All I can say right now is that I’m glad we as a nation are talking about it. I’m glad some policies, even if they aren’t ones I entirely agree with, are being created because at least it’s being discussed now. At least it’s being taken to the next level and is not getting brushed under the rug. This is, for sure, long over due.

Here is some more insight and opinions from Marie Claire on this topic from current serving teachers:

https://www.marieclaire.com/politics/a18671237/teachers-on-guns-in-classrooms/





Cover Image Credit: Photo by Celia Ortega on Unsplash

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A Thank You Letter To The Best Teammate I've Ever Had

There's no "I" in team.
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We all have those amazing memories when it comes to sports. Sometimes it is from winning tough games, but most of the amazing memories that we have come from the teammates that we shared those wins with. Teammates are the people who you spend so much time with that you eventually become a family. Teammates do more than help just win a game; they can be there through everything. There's always that one teammate that stands out from the rest, and this letter is for you.

Thank you for being selfless.

Looking back, I remember a lot of teammates. Some were great and some were not that great. I've had teammates who have only cared about their playing time. I've had teammates that have only cared about if they score more goals or more points than anyone else. You did not care about that. If the coach told you to play a position that you did not want to play, you still played it without a complaint. If I was tired at a certain position and wanted to switch you, you did it. You never complained about where you were playing or how many goals you had; you just wanted the team to win.

Thank you for having my back.

The best kinds of teammates are the ones that support you no matter what you do. I got a red card? That referee is stupid. I got into a fist fight during a game? You were the first one next to me swinging. Some girl makes fun of me on social media for messing up in a game? You were roasting her in her mentions. Even if I was right or wrong, you always supported me no matter what I did.

Thank you for seeing me at my worst and building me back up.

There are always times in an athlete's life where we run to the point to where we need to throw up. There are times where we go through games and miss too many shots. There are times where we get a little too mad at our coaches and feel as if we cannot deal with it anymore. You were the one that got me through it. When I was in the middle of a run and my lungs were burning, you stayed right next to me and reminded me that there wasn't much longer to go, even if there was. You always reminded me how capable I was by yelling at me and telling me to go score. You've seen me tired, sweaty, crying, screaming and throwing up. After all that, you still went out of your way to build me back up and I cannot thank you enough for that.

Thank you for making me love the game.

Without people like you, I would have had a very rough ride through my sports career. I have had teammates that have made me go home crying because they were so mean and rude. I have had teammates who have only cared about themselves. Without you, I would've forgotten what a good teammate is. Looking back, all I remember is the celebrations, the screaming random songs in cars and us hating each other's exes automatically... Then talking about all these things at practice. Thanks for being a leader with me. Without you and the rest of the team, I would not have loved the sport that I played.

Cover Image Credit: Cheap Seats Photography

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5 Struggles That Coming Home For The Summer Pose

Summer isn't always what you think it's going to be, especially when you're coming home.

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Summer break is amazing in so many ways: you're given countless hours to yourself, no daily stresses concerning school and assignments, and no overbearing pressures to go out every single night. However, coming home (usually) means you're back living with your parents and back to abiding by their rules, despite the fact that for around ten months, you were the only person making the rules in your own home. Despite the perks that come with summer, I have composited 10 reasons why summer can be hard to bear.

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I find it almost comical that I was able to "run free" for 10 months in Tallahassee with no regard for what time it was, but while at home I get the "it's time to come home" text from my parents as soon as 11 o'clock rolls around. For the entire school year, I was able to stay at friends' places until the sun came up, at walk out of clubs around closing time with no fear of getting punished for staying out too late, but now, I have to constantly plan around my curfew and ensure that I'm home before I get on my parents' bad side.

2. Having to get a summer job.

It was always a rule in my house that jobs were only meant for summer since my parents felt that getting good grades were our primary priority, so now that school's out, I'm working at my local Panera and dog-sitting for my neighbors, even though I absolutely hate dogs. Working isn't the worst thing I've had to do, but when I have to miss beach days and parties for a job that only pays $9 an hour, it sucks!

3. Countless days of boredom. 

College has made me accustomed to being surrounded by other people and activities 24/7. Sure, there were a couple of hours a day for alone time, but the majority of my day was spent hanging out with friends, going to my sorority, going out, and attending class. Now that I'm home and far away from my friends and the social aspect of FSU, I find myself bored and lonely.

4. Less freedom and independence. 

While away at school, I was able to do pretty much anything I wanted without my parents finding out. I was able to go get fast food in the middle of the night, go out to clubs, and sleep at my friends' place whenever I wanted. Sadly, now that I'm home, I can't just leave whenever I want or do whatever I want; I have to tell my parents when I'm going to places, where I'm going, who I'm meeting, and when exactly I'll be home.

5. Having to unpack and sort through your old clothes and the ones you brought to school.

Being the youngest has gifted me with an overabundance of hand-me-downs, everything from prom dresses to shoes to jewelry. However, over the years, the amount of clothes I have accumulated is insane; coming home has forced me to sort through the piles of old clothes and things I don't want anymore in order to make room for the multiple suitcases I brought back from school. My room looks like a tornado swept through it for three weeks now, despite the countless hours I have spent organizing, donating, and folding.

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