This is a letter posted on Facebook from a parent. As a teacher just like you it struck my heart and I wanted all of you to read it. I am also including some “math” about the tornado. My thoughts and prayers are not only with the Moore teachers but all of you. I know firsthand how amazing you are!!
I freely admit it. I’ve taken teachers for granted. Sure, as a kid, you wanted the ones that weren’t too hard on you when you screwed up, or maybe the ones who never noticed when you did. As a parent, you merely hope they will turn your children into the smartest kids in town. We look at state rankings of schools and hope ours is smarter than that dumb school down the street. Because, by God, my kid needs to have a good job someday so I’m not supporting them till they’re 35. I’ll admit it. When I get my kid’s report cards, or test scores, or whatever, I congratulate my kids for the good grades, and question the teachers about the bad ones. Then, it hit me. When your 4 year old, who’s never been more than 8 feet away from you is dropped off at school for the first time, and you’re at work all day stressing about it, the teacher is the one with him, making sure he’s ok. When your house is just so loud from your 2 or 3 kids being cooped up all summer, and you can’t wait for the house to be quiet again, the teacher is the one who happily receives them. When a kid is having problems at home, the teacher is the one that comforts them and gives them a sense of normalcy. When you get a call that the school is on lockdown, because of whatever craziness is going on in the world at that time, the teacher is the one who is there to comfort them. When an EF-5 tornado is zeroed in on your kid’s school, and you are 10 miles away, helpless and hopeless to reach them in time, the teacher is the one who makes sure they are in a safe place. When that same tornado, or even a crazy person with a gun, enters the school, and attempts to take the life of your child, and you wish you were there to jump in the way, the teacher is the one who does. This is for all the teachers who I ever had, and every teacher my kids ever had, or will ever have. You may have never had to take a bullet for me, or protect my child from a falling wall, but it wasn’t until now that I realized, you totally would have. I apologize for never treating you with the proper respect. The same respect we give our fireman and our policeman, should have been given to you. Thank you for everything you ever did, and everything you were in position to do, but never had to. Good job, teach.
Here are just a few math facts about the tornadoes in Moore, Norman, Little Axe, Bethel Acres, Bethel and Shawnee.
13,000 homes lost, only 29 people in shelters.
Winds 200+ m.p.h. at Briarwood Elementary. No lives lost! (That’s around 600 students)
There are approximately 650,000 students and 60,000 teachers in Oklahoma, of which any would risk their own safety to keep their students out of harm.
Over $6,000,000 in donations from Oklahoma companies.
I am so proud to be an Oklahoma teacher. Love to each of you for a safe and restful summer.
Sara Snodgrass M.Ed/NBCT
Oklahoma State Department of Education
Director of Elementary Mathematics
2500 North Lincoln Boulevard
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105