I have always been proud to be a teacher, and I have always been proud of teachers. I have a button that says, “Teachers are my heroes.” It takes courage to teach. Teaching requires conviction. It requires self-confidence and a sense that one is doing the right thing in the right way for the right reasons. It requires people to do the right thing at the right time. It requires the resolve to stand up to the fact that we live in a society that is all too ready to assign blame to teachers when the artificial standards that society sets are not met. We are all too ready to declare that things need to be fixed, that we could do a better job, and that we could solve the problems of education. And now we must mourn the loss of six of our colleagues who died doing not what teachers do, but doing what heroes do.
It was not a particularly good week for education. As happens all too often, adult behavior has intruded on the education of young people.