Posts Tagged ‘teaching’

I was never good with writing about myself. I liked to write stories. I liked to record things, but when it came to writing a paragraph about myself I would freeze, but I want you to know who I was in my life before all of this happened to us. Before the world just fell to pieces, leaving us to pick up those pieces and try to move on as best we can.

Liz’s Story

Miss Burton

I was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey on December 16, 1983. My brother Ryan followed me four years later. It was just us and my mom since I was a teenager. My parents had divorced after pretty much never getting along. We barely saw him after that. It didn’t matter though, we both had always been closer to our mother.

I always wanted to be a teacher, it was the one big dream that I had since childhood. I was hired right out of my masters program to work at Alcott Elementary. I started out as the kindergarten teacher, but after doing it for several years I found that I liked the older kids better. I was happily enjoying my time in fifth grade.

In my life before, I was looking forward to marrying my boyfriend John. Had things been different, I would probably be planning my wedding right now, but that was…life before.

I’ve kept the kids quiet and subdued for the past several days. They ask me what’s happened, but I know telling them the complete truth would just cause mass chaos. I tell them that there was an emergency and that help is coming, that we just have to sit and wait for them to come to us. Some of my kids, like Shelby, cry most of the time. She wants her mother and I can only substitute for that for so long. Then there are kids like Vincent who wants to get out of here, find his loved ones and see what’s happened beyond the carefully crafted safe-haven that I’ve made for them here. I can control the kids who cry more easily than I can the kids like Vincent. I’m scared and Matilda is of little help.

Her main contribution to life here is her daily bitching about the bathroom situation. It’s simple: We don’t have one. I’ve told the kids that if they had to go that they would have to find a spot in Mrs. Swan’s office and that when they were through to clean themselves up with the stock pile of tissues she had in her closet. It is not the most sanitary solution and I knew that it would not last, but it kept the kids close enough to the group, gave them privacy and kept us from having to go out into the school to the bathrooms and see all of the bloodshed that occurred in our quiet, little neighborhood school. There will come a time and it will be soon that I will have to take them out there, but it is hard for me to face that. To have to take that ideal of safety and protection that the school has served them with is overwhelming for me and it is a big step out into this new world that I am slightly terrified to have to be living in while I have to protect my students.

I’m working on the bathroom thing, I know it’s an issue and that I have to be the adult and get us all safely to a better location. For now, the pressing issue is going to get more bottled water and canned food from the kitchen. I’m taking Vincent with me this time so we can stock up. Matilda has “volunteered” to stay back with the others. I’m pissed, but someone needs to and in reality she will just slow us down if she came with us. I want to push towards the front of the school and check things out. The bathrooms are there and though I am sure running water is a thing of the past, I do think that it would be etter for the kids to at least have a bathroom that I could maybe manually flush if we found enough water.

Here’s to hoping it’s out there!