I just noticed on a news article that today is the 25th anniversary of the Challenger disaster. Because of that, I wanted to take today’s post to give a little sympathy to my fourth grade teacher (as well as all the other teachers that hit the same thing that she did).
I mean, this was almost assuredly the most difficult day she ever had as a teacher. I certainly can think of few that would have been worse.
That was the day she was standing, excitedly watching a television screen with her young class, and suddenly realized that she was going to have to turn around and explain to all of these children that they had just watched seven people (including one very famous teacher, Christa McAuliffe) die on live television. I can only imagine what ran through her mind at that moment, as it dawned on her what she was seeing. Wondering what the fuck she was supposed to do.
There is no way she was prepared for that. We certainly weren’t, but we weren’t adults who had to now deal with an entire classroom full of traumatized students.
And I’m sure she wasn’t the only one. For school age kids at that time, it was one of the most important launches we had heard about, if for no other reason than Christa McAuliffe. In trying to keep Americans interested in space, they were now going to launch an ordinary citizen. A school teacher. It was all we talked about in school. All the school kids everywhere in the country had to be watching with their class. And then she exploded. Teachers never signed on for that kind of thing.
She got through it, though. My fourth grade teacher, I mean. I suppose she had little choice. She got us through it. I don’t know how, but she did.
In any event, I just wanted to extend her a little sympathy for that. For what she had to go through at that moment. She was supposed to teach us fractions and shit like that. She wasn’t supposed to be the one who had to introduce us to catastrophe, death on live television. There certainly wasn’t anything else she could do at that moment, but I’m sure it wasn’t easy. She definitely was a trooper.