With the recent shooting in Parkland, Florida and all the stories that follow about teachers and coaches protecting their children, I can’t help but think about how the roles of teachers have changed over the years.

When I was growing up in a small rural community, we thought of teachers as those who taught us and loved us.  They cared about our families and were able to take us home from school if we missed the bus or our mom got sick.  They were like part of the family.  We didn’t have to worry about teachers protecting us from gunmen.

The world is different now.  Social media, technology, movies and video games have changed all of those dynamics.  Studies have shown that all of these things combined have caused the dangers of just the mere fact of going to school to increase.

Our teachers have to be prepared to do more than teach and show concern about our kids.  They have to be ready to defend against evil and bullets and knives and down right craziness!  I have always respected teachers and the role that they play in our lives and our children’s lives because frankly, without them we could not survive in the world.

Think about a teacher that you had growing up who made a big impact on your life or a teacher that went over and above to help your child through a difficult course or time in their life.  My challenge to us today is to THANK A TEACHER.  Write a note, send a small gift of appreciation or go back to basics and pick up the phone and give them a call.

My heart goes out to all those teachers who had to experience tragedy in all of the school shootings over the last decade and I want to thank them for their service to society in their role of teachers but also for their service to society as their expanded role of protector.