Today started like any other school day. I was even ready a few minutes early, allowing me to leave early and give me a few extra minutes of quiet in my classroom before school started.
However, today was not any other school day. Today, we experienced a great loss. Last night one of our school families was involved in a terrible car accident, and one of my 5th grade students passed away. I taught him on Monday. He was quiet, but engaged. He did his work and followed directions. I didn't think twice about it. Did I even speak to him? Or was I too busy? And now, he's gone. Taken too soon.
I had the privilege of seeing him grow up. I have been his art teacher since Kindergarten. I saw him grow and mature. I taught both of his older siblings. I cannot even begin to understand what the family is going through. I was "just" their art teacher, and I am heartbroken and profoundly changed.
Life is precious. Cherish every moment. These thoughts have run through my head repeatedly today. Praying constantly for the family, my school, and the community.
He will be remembered.