Here it is, my promise to you, my promise to every student that will walk through my doors. It’s a promise I never thought I would have to make when I decided to become a teacher but now it seems like the most important thing I can do. It has nothing to do with teaching you algebra or making sure you know how to use your schema well. It has to do with your well being and safety. When you walk into my classroom I want you to feel safe, I want you to feel loved and be able to talk to me. I want you to know that when you are here, I am 100% here for you! I am here to listen, to talk, to walk you through life. I want to promise you that no matter what I will protect these things. I will open my arms to hug you even though I am told to limit touch. I will bring you snacks and let you nap in the back of my classroom if life just got in the way last night and you couldn’t sleep or eat. I promise to listen to you with an open mind and never think the worst of you. Even if you have shown me 100 times that the worst may be what I get. But I hope that through all of this I can show you how much I care, and how much I want you to be happy and loved.
If you are struggling I want the first place you turn to be me, and not for a gun. I never want you to think that is the only or best option and I want to help show you a different way. And if I don’t know how I want to be able to point you in the right direction. I want you to feel safe inside of our school and I will always fight for your safety to learn above all else. You should never worry about if you are going to walk out of school at the end of the day, you should only worry about if you will forget your homework. I have worked with students where school is the only place they feel safe when home is filled with yelling and “daddy pushed mommy down the stairs” or where home is no place at all, but a new hotel room each night. For you dear students school deserves to continue to be a safe place, where for 8 hours a day all you need to worry about is algebra, and maybe if you are gonna see your crush in the hallway there is no excuse for you to worry about your safety above all of that.
And for my students who have a hard time expressing themselves, or who are unable to regulate your emotions in the same way that other students do, school still deserves to be a place where you can learn that where we can teach you how to cope with the stress that comes with being 16 or 17 or 18 or 25 because life is full of stress, and bullies and anxiety. Life is going to continue to show you ways it can be difficult but we can get through it together, but we have to be given a chance. I will always give you that chance.
I promise to fight and keep you safe, and I will promise to fight to ensure that you don’t think turning to a gun is the first or best option, I will fight to give you somewhere else to turn, someone else to talk to. I promise to guard your life like it was my own, praying that I will never have to guard your life, with my own.