Here are the names of the faculty members who were killed Friday in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
Rachel Davino, behavioral therapist, 29
Dawn Hochsprung, principal, 47
Anne Marie Murphy, special education teacher, 52
Lauren Rousseau, teacher, 30
Mary Sherlach, school psychologist, 56
Victoria Soto, teacher, 27
Reports of the courage, selflessness, and sheer quick-wittedness of the educators at the school have proliferated over the weekend. In his speech at the prayer vigil in Newtown last night, President Obama highlighted the faculty members' heroism as a source of inspiration for the country:
As these difficult days have unfolded, you've also inspired us with stories of strength and resolve and sacrifice. We know that when danger arrived in the halls of Sandy Hook Elementary, the school's staff did not flinch. They did not hesitate.
... [T]hey responded as we all hope we might respond in such terrifying circumstances, with courage and with love, giving their lives to protect the children in their care.
We know that there were other teachers who barricaded themselves inside classrooms and kept steady through it all and reassured their students by saying, "Wait for the good guys, they are coming. Show me your smile."
A number of educator-bloggers have also drawn inspiration and a sense of professional strength from the Sandy Hook teachers' actions. Some highlights:
You have just been reminded of why we are indispensable and why no one can simply walk in off the street and do our work. You are in this position of privilege to do one thing like no other person on earth can do.
You are a teacher. You are noble. Why does it take a dumb tragedy for people to realize how dedicated most of you are to your students? You make sacrifices every day and I know that many of you out there would do the same thing for your babies in your classroom.
On this day we are reminded that classroom teachers, staff and administrators are on the front lines with our children every day. They are witnesses to the children's growth and growing pains. They see the blossoming and the blight. ... They take the chance that violence may come into their lives. They take the chance that they will encounter children with damage beyond their ability to reach. They take the chance that the trauma that inhabits the lives of so many of our children will find its way into their lives as well.
Today will be a time for community and political leaders to thank teachers for their unheralded bravery. A visit to the school to show support would be appropriate. Providing special treats for the teachers' lounge with a note of appreciation would be welcomed. The stress that teachers have been under all year is compounded when students and their colleagues are harmed. It is a time to re-examine how teachers in this country have been minimized for the contributions they make, and it is a time to re-commit to honor and respect and reward America's teachers.
Let us know how you and your colleagues are responding.