“I just don’t know how to feel what I’m feeling.”
An 11 year old kid told me that Monday with tears streaming down his face. He was hurting in a way he had never hurt before. In fact, his entire school was hurting in a way that no kid should ever have to hurt.
This week I have been blessed to be on all three campuses that were touched by the tragedy that has rocked our community. I have been able to view educators, administrators and community volunteers desperately trying to care for and minister to hurting kids. People who were holding back their own grief because they needed to be strong for our kids.
Our schools have been the topic of much discussion and debate. There are those who think the school district is failing. There are those who point to state tests and “grades” given to our district as evidence of this. There are those who believe that they are beyond hope and repair.
However, this week I didn’t see failure. I saw love.
I SAW LOVE
Teachers who were crying with students. Staff who were hugging and nurturing hurting kids. Administrators who were holding students close as they both sobbed. I saw a group of adults who were going way above an beyond anything that can be measured by a standardized test … because they love our kids.
If you are an educator in our district, I want to publicly thank and applaud you. I want to encourage you to keep on loving our kids. Keep on providing a space where they are physically and emotionally safe. Keep on letting them know that there are people who love them unconditionally and will be there beside them when they need it most. That can’t be standardized and measured with a #2 pencil, but I believe it is infinitely more valuable than whatever “grade” Austin chooses to slap on you.
We all want our schools to be better. Each of us wants the best for the kids of our community. But before you run our schools down, remember . . . some of the most valuable things our kids are learning can’t be measured by a test!