The Way To Arm Teachers.
(I would love for this to be an original idea, but I'm sure many others have the same thought, but I'm sharing it anyway.)
Teachers need to be armed. They spend the majority of the day with our children; with our future; and they need to be able to take care of them. As of now, most of them do, but that is not enough. Teachers have given their lives to protect their students. So I state unequivocally; they NEED to be armed. We have ignored them for far too long. They need to have resources to protect and care for the most precious resource this country (this world?) has.
Teachers need to be armed with tissues, hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray to keep their classrooms safe from relentless invaders like influenza and rhinovirus. Time and time again, I receive pleas asking for these items necessary for preventing disaster in the classroom. These items are NOT just needed in homeroom, but in EVERY classroom which includes music rooms, art room, the library/media center and the cafeteria. Why do our teachers have to beg for these items throughout the year? By not arming ALL our teachers with these weapons we are putting our children at risk. WHY do teachers have to ASK for these simple supplies? Shouldn't they be provided with them to keep our children safe?
Teachers need to be armed with pencils, pens, notebooks, loose leaf paper, rulers, tape, glue sticks...The list goes on and on. They ask us to supply these items for our children at the beginning of the year but they need them too. Think of the children who forget those items or worse yet, cannot afford to purchase them. Arm our teachers with these "extras" so that they can make sure that every student in their classroom has what they need to learn and grow.
Teachers need to be armed with books. They need not only classroom textbooks, but reading subject reading material (and off subject as well). Teachers foster learning and not just of the subject they are focused on! They need books to share with their students. Books that might never return to their classroom (and that should be okay; when a book is so loved that a student is reluctant to return it SHOULD be kept.). Replenish them continuously as books get lost or tattered and torn. Books are the ammunition teachers need to promote a love of the written word. They needed to be furnished with new material regularly.
The specialty teachers need to be armed too. Music teachers need more instruments, printed music, etc. Art teachers need paint, clay, etc. Gym teachers need sports equipment (and probably a barrel full of travel size deodorant that can be handed out as necessary). ALL teachers need to be furnished with the items they need to successfully do their jobs. (I'm the first to admit, that I don't know what every teacher needs; maybe it's time we asked? How else can we know what equipment they need that can enrich our children?)
Teachers need to be armed with safe snacks (like fruit) and "gift cards" to the cafeteria so that no child goes hungry. (No matter how affluent an area you live in, you do know that there ALWAYS is a child who is hungry, right? There IS a child who has gone without breakfast or will forgo lunch due to lack of food and/or funds.) Teachers, administrators and all staff need to be armed with gift cards to Target, Kmart, Walmart, etc. so that no child will suffer lack of basic needs. (And these people are on the front lines and can clearly see the needs where the rest of society might not.) They need to be connected with local/community resources that exist to help families in a wide variety of ways (food pantries, thrift shops, etc.)
Mostly ALL teachers need to be armed with understanding, compassion and patience. They, perhaps more so than us, can recognize problems that our children might be facing. When they notice a behavioral problem, let them have the resources to work it out. When they see an anger issue, let their skills allow them to work with those involved so that it does not escalate. Let them be the people that their students can trust and turn to for any type of problems. Let them have the resources so that those problems can be worked out.
ALL teachers need to be armed with a multitude of resources. If we provide our teachers with this arsenal of humanitarian equipment, our children will not only be safer, but will have the ability to become better human beings. Ensuring teachers have the resources they really need, not only ensure the future of our children, but that of our world.