I am a teacher and I am furious

I am a teacher. I begin each day asking myself, “How will I make my students feel good today?”
These are not just my thoughts, these are the thoughts of many teachers around the country.
We become teachers to have a tiny say in the lives of our students and an effect on their futures.
We have been asked to do many things by our policy makers that have little to no impact on our students growth as learners and citizens but we do it because we love our jobs and could not dream of spending our days outside of a classroom.
We know the duties of our profession.
We know some nights and weekends will be spent planning and grading papers.
We know to have extra snacks for those who don't have, we know to smile even on our bad days.
We know our most important job is to keep our students safe.
We know our students' parents rely on us to keep their children safe.
We also know that the value and respect for our profession has declined, we feel the lack of support from policy makers.
We shield it from students by filling the gaps.
We fill the gaps financially by buying supplies, so students can learn how we want them to learn.
We fill the gaps by being counselors when there are none in a school.
We fill the gaps by incorporating the arts into our already full curriculums.
I am furious that I must now consider acting as a human shield.
I am furious that it has been carelessly suggested that teachers become armed.
I am furious that I now have to wonder if I can actually keep my students safe.
I am furious because this is a gap that teachers should not be asked to fill.
Rene' Blume
Third grade teacher