More and more these days, schools are full of danger and tragedy. But a friend of mine recently challenged me to focus on the beauty in the world rather than the evil. This article does just that. Teacher Ryan Heber talked down a 16 year old student-gunman in his California school, as I’m sure you’ve heard by now. Could there be a more powerful testament to the importance of developing relationships with students? Seeing them as little humans rather than test scores, cute stories, annoyances, or chores?
“David Heber wasn’t surprised that his son played a key role in diffusing the situation, saying Ryan Heber makes a point of getting to know his students — including the suspected gunman — on a personal level.”
Then, the article goes on to state the Heber doesn’t want to be known as a hero, only as a teacher. Maybe it’s the language arts teacher in me, but what does that tell you? He considers the courage he showed to be all a part of his job. And maybe to him, teacher is a label that carries more honor than a hero.
What a challenge! Would we have that kind of relationship with our students if we ever found ourselves in such a tragic situation? There’s no way to know, and of course, there are countless other factors. Still, it’s a challenging thought. I really admire this man. This hero. This Teacher.