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My condolences to the victims of another school shooting in Florida. I want to thank people who always support teachers. Now that we are reminded they are here to stand between your child and a bullet, we remember why they are hailed as everyday heroes.

Let’s also praise them every day when they make around 1,500 decisions during a work day (P. Johnson, 1990) balancing 25 different learning styles and needs" a supportive smile or stern look; support in reading comprehension or decoding; pushing harder in math to try a new strategy; encouraging better friendship choices; encouragement to stand up to silent, manipulative bullies; giving longer wait time so a student won’t give up; buying snacks because some haven’t eaten since leaving school yesterday; buying deodorant because a student can’t afford it; figuring out why a student often suddenly cries; giving a blunt, straightforward “no” to unacceptable behavior; calling home when something is “off.”

Remember, when they ask for enough of a salary to live on without the need of a second job despite their master’s degree, they deserve it. Let’s not make them beg for pencils and Kleenex. They don’t need to be shot at to be important.

Maily Kocinski, Beaver Dam