You have to be brave, as a teacher, because if you are panicking, the kids will panic.
You have to be alert, follow your instincts if anything happens and stay in control.
These are things I have been hearing in meetings, for about a month.
One month since the schools have been abruptly closed. I always say happy holidays and good bye to my kids before I leave after taking my last class with them on last day before the winter break. This time we couldn’t say good bye since we didn’t know we won’t be seeing each other again for a long time.
The security plans, the threats, this that and the other, all in place and the more its talked about, the more it disturbs me. I live several miles away from Peshawar APS school that was attacked, yet, being in the same country, fighting the same war & facing the same risks, I feel mentally drained, losing sleep over things like “what if”.
There have been training, security briefings, meetings with security personnel, who can not admit on our faces that if anything happens, we are basically on our own. No plan or measures can ensure 100% security and safety.
In mornings when I dress up, I start thinking if I will die in this same dress. Will my shirt be splashed with blood? Will my parents be able to find out which hospital I have been taken to by rescue ambulances? Will I ever wake up?
I can’t sit in the classroom while decorating the window for the next theme or while sorting the piles of readers out, without thinking, what if…. where will I hide? how many kids will I be able to save by this route? If I lock the door from the inside, will that help? May be I can talk to them and plea that my kids are too small, they are barely 7 or 8, so please leave them. May be they leave without harming any of them. May be not. May be I survive the wounds because I’m stronger, but they can’t with their fragile bodies.
When I stand on the prayer mat, I keep thinking about all these things, as if making a plea to Allah. When I raise my hands in prayer, I can’t ask for anything for my future, new job, more salary, true love, three kids of my own…nothing. I can’t think about future. I just pray that I can save my kids and come home alive.
Death is easy I’m told. You won’t feel a thing if shot point blank. I’m actually more scared of living through the horrors that will haunt me for the rest of my life. The kids screaming, fires shot, blood, lives lost, how will I ever move? What if I freeze in my steps in that moment and later regret it forever, if come out alive.
This is not our war we are paying for. Few politicians ruling this country made a mistake and no one after that tried to re evaluate and fix that. Since then this nation has been paying, with blood and lives. Now its paying with their kids’ and their dead bodies.
God help us all & keep us safe before I lose all my sanity…Ameen