It's truly heart breaking. This whole thing. When I saw the first detailed news report I noticed how this school doesn't look much bigger than my little Angel's school. This town looked no different than my little town. I too thought "That could have been MY first grader!" That's when I saw the story about Victoria Soto and her heroic actions. She reminded me so much of Angel's kindergarten Teacher, Jeanna Meyer.
I truly couldn't have asked for a better first teacher for Angel. Angel didn't adjust well to school, and Ms. Meyer loved on her just a mother would when she stuggled. She would tell Angel daily that she loved her and would give her hugs and assurance. Angel sometimes called me Ms. Meyer, and likewise called her Mommy. It made me laugh all the time, but also showed me what kind of teacher she had. Angel truly was just as much Ms. Meyer's baby as she was my baby. She had a teacher just like Victoria Soto who would have without question hidden our baby and told the gunman she wasn't there. I believe without a doubt that Ms. Meyer would have taken and will take a bullet for any of her babies.
The summer after kindergarten and it was time to meet our first grade teacher I knew there was no way the person I was about to meet would ever compare to Ms. Meyer. I was very concerened that whomever this was wouldn't be able to show the love and compassion that my daughter needed. Then I met Tonya Matlock. It was as if this woman were hand picked to teach my daughter first grade. We truly work as a team in teaching Angel and by seeing how far she's come since the begginning of the year I'd have to say we make a great team! I'll never forget the phone call I got from her when she said "OUR little girl isn't doing so well." That's when I knew for a fact that she had another Ms. Meyer. Ms. Matlock would have been like the teacher Kaitlin Roig, who crammed all of her kids into a bathroom telling them how much she loved them and how they were all going to have christmas. She wouldn't even let police in until they showed her their badge under the door. Yes, I believe Ms. Matlock would do whatever she had to do to keep her children safe.
And of course we can't forget the teachers' assistants. Angel has a special woman Ms. Glass who helps Angel when things get really tough. I've only met her a couple times and I don't even know her first name, but Angel talks about her so much that I know she's made a solid impact on Angel's life.
While what happend Friday is horrifing, I can't imagine Angel's life without her amazing teachers. Teachers in my opinion have always been some of the greatest most life changing people out there and it takes a truly special person to be a teacher. I've always had faith in our teachers and after Friday my faith in them just grows stronger. You can't hide your kids from the world. You just can't. If you notice all the surviving teachers from Sandy Hook Elementary, when speaking about their students, don't call them students. They say "my children" or "my kids". It's something all teachers do. Each year they don't get "new" kids they simply get MORE kids. Let's continue to let our schools help us shape our children.
I'm so grateful for Freeport Elementary School and everyone there who is helping me raise my daughter to be the wonderful person that she is inside and out. A special thanks to Ms. Matlock, Ms. Meyer, and Ms. Glass.