Echoes of Gunfire
Imagine the hours and weeks after you've witnessed a school shooting. You run the emotional gamut between disorientation and severe anxiety. When you return to the classroom, you're unsure how to cope. Your classroom used to be a safe space; is it still? In this book, the experience of two teachers before, during and after they witnessed school shootings are analyzed to determine the effects of these incidents on their lives. In one case, a teacher who observed a shooting of one student by another, struggled with severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Her issues, along with actions by school administration, led to her psychological disability. In the second case, at a different school, another teacher watched a gunman randomly firing at students; he was able to continue teaching. A comparison helps to understand the psychological and organizational factors that affect educators who witnessed a school shooting.
This book would be critical in courses training school administrators, and for those teaching graduate research courses. In addition, this would be useful for mental health professionals and emergency responders seeking to get a glimpse into what teachers who witness school shootings are going through.
Chapter 23. The Big Question
· 2 3 · THE BIG QUESTION
“I am seeing where this is going. So, let’s go back to your big question, the one your other professor told you that you needed – what are the effects of witnessing a school shooting on a teacher’s career?” Janice asked.
“Okay, like in a movie, let’s get to the climax – answering the big question.” I responded.
“Unfortunately, while I did a qualitative analysis on this question, I discovered that using terms familiar to qualitative people makes more sense in describing how we can understand the effects.”
“I don’t follow you …” Janice sounded confused.
“Simply put, we can use the analogy of a math formula to understand what happened. There are too many variables that one short sentence wouldn’t really describe things.”
“Uh-oh. We have to use math?”
“Well, not really, but keep the idea behind variables in a math formula in the front of your mind.”
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