The School as Sanctuary

August 11, 2022- The tearful little girl was introduced to me, by her teacher of four days. She readily agreed to take a short walk with me, and we went, briefly, out a door to a small play area. There were other students and teachers in the area, and between the lot of us, we found an exterior door that was unlocked. The girl and I went back inside, walked to the office and let the staff there know about the door. Each of us who was over the age of 18 thought of another school, far away, that had an unlocked door, a few months ago. The matter took on an urgency.

The school where I worked today is in a fairly comfortable part of Prescott Valley. The teachers and staff have a clear love for their students and there is a warmth there, that I wish were present in every institution of learning. Although the rest of my day was spent as a lunch room monitor, I could very easily return to the school and assist in whatever capacity is needed.

Modern schools almost to a one, find themselves as sanctuaries. Those whose structures more accurately resemble prisons, in their design and physical plant, have to struggle mightily to avoid being such. There are also schools whose teachers are intellectually adept, but are emotionally-stunted, and actually take pride in making students cry. This school has none of that. There is a sense that difficult children are so, for a reason, and that reason is not to punish adults.

I sense that this year will be one of more discerning acceptance of assignments, especially as there seems to be a surplus of substitute teachers. There are maybe 8 schools where I feel that my presence is a good fit. This school would be the eighth, and but for a three-to-five month commitment on Fridays, and a pair of short, but necessary trips in September and October, I would have signed on for a lengthy “Roving Sub” position, there or in another such school.

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