One week after the shootings in the CT elementary school, we in the US are still reeling. Everyone is writing about it, talking about it, etc. Certainly it could easily apply to this blog, as I am sure that as Dawn H. completed her principal preparation, she never imagined she would give her life in this way for her staff and students.
I wonder if Dawn had “that feeling” the in the early morning of 12/14/12. Anyone who serves in a school or in the mental health field knows that there is a direct correlation between the moon cycles and the predictability of human behavior. However, “that feeling” is beyond recognizing the patterns in nature. And “that feeling” is not something that can be taught in a school leadership program. It’s inexplicable, really. But almost any administrator in touch with the pulse of his or her school knows what I mean. Waking up with “that feeling” always puts one on a high alert. It often means having specific contact with the school resource officer (if blessed to have one in the school). It also means being very intentional to listening to what the students are saying (and not saying) on a particular day.
When I’ve had “that feeling,” it’s rarely been wrong. Most often, it did simply mean more-than-usual discipline issues with students. However, in my experience, it has also meant racial tensions and threatening messages sent to the school. With the CT shootings and the Mayan calendar prediction for today, many local schools have been experiencing the need to heighten security. I wonder how many of the administrators in these schools had “that feeling.”