I am a teacher.
And I love it.
I love the thrill of seeing one of my students have that lightbulb moment, even though I have spent hour upon hour trying to work out how to differentiate the lesson for that to happen.
I love the emails of thanks from parents who appreciate that I go above and beyond for their children, even though the email before was a complaint about the fact that another parent’s son is not in the top reading group.
I love the connection and relationship that I form with students and their families, even though sometimes the connection and relationship means that I care too much.
I love being a teacher, even though it’s bloody hard work.
But I am an Australian teacher. A lucky Australian teacher. And to my American colleagues, I watch on in wonder and respect.
I don’t have to worry about protecting my students.
I don’t have to worry about gun violence and school shootings.
I don’t have to worry about a proposal to arm me because my job is becoming so high risk.
And so, as an Australian teacher, I have a request to your president.
I would like to ask him to step away from the limelight for just a second. Step away from the limelight and into his home. Look at his little boy.
Look at his little boy and imagine that it was him that was hiding in a school closet, with a teacher so brave that she was willing to put the lives of her students ahead of her own.
Look at his little boy and imagine that it was his school, his cafeteria, his library that was being rampaged by a fellow teen…..with a gun.
Look at his little boy and imagine that it was his friends who didn’t make it home, his teachers who didn’t make it home, or, as heartbreaking as it is to say, him that didn’t make it home.
Imagine the fear, the loss, the heart-ache, the pain.
And then tell his little boy that nothing needs to change.
Hmmmm, I didn’t think so.