Wednesday, May 25, 2011
I was just leaving for my Professional Learning Community meeting at 3:15 telling my class to be good. Halfway down the hall, the tornado sirens go off. I spin around and sprint back to my students. As a teacher, this is my worst nightmare - to be responsible for 22 precious babies. I had been agonizing over the weather the whole day. In fact, I had Tony sign Parker out early since the storms were suppose to hit around 3 and our schools don't dismiss until 4. My students spend what seems like forever in the tornado crouch position in the hallway. There are tears. I sing "You are my sunshine." We get the call that students can sit up but must stay in their tornado spots. Four o'clock comes and goes without dismissal. We stay in the hall. Parents start signing out students but I still have over half my class in my care. A second wave hits turning the skies nearly black. The call is heard for everyone to resume the tornado emergency position including the staff. The lights go out. I cling to one student on my left and stretch out to hold five more. The lights flicker and I say words of hope for I hear quiet tears. "I am here. I will take care of you. You will be ok." And in my mind, I say by the grace of God. A few moments later, we can get up. Finally, at 5:30 we load the buses and all 22 students are safe with their parents. Tonight, I am so very grateful that the worst we saw leaving school was broken limbs and downed trees all around.