Sitting atop my sink and counter on prep period, I contemplate the break in humanity wherein it becomes commonplace for a teacher to lock her door, turn the lights off, and cover her windows to hide from a dangerous intruder. Never in my youth did I imagine a time where this is what my future held as I dreamed of the teaching profession: sitting in a dark corner, listening to my patterned breath as I await anxiously not to hear the sound of a gun shot.
Luckily the man who robbed the bank next door never sought out refuge on our campus, but for the public school educator, that fear is real. Just this last spring, we had our first ALICE training wherein we hired a company to put our school (staff only) in a simulation with an active shooter. Granted the shooter had a pellet gun full of plastic bullets, but we were still the primary targets. The program gears itself towards attacking the shooter, announcing as much information as possible over the PA system, running away from school campus, and blockading yourself and students in a safe space.
While I would protect my students without hesitation, this is not the career I dreamed of in my youth as I fantasized about becoming a teacher.