I originally wanted to keep this a place where I shared about all my teaching experiences and journeys. But at a time like this, I feel like this is also a good place to relate- teacher to teacher, person to person- about things that happen.

This week, my younger cousin went missing. After a three day search, he was found, but was taken from us too soon. My heart is broken.

I tried to keep a smile on my face, but those 16 beautiful first graders could sense that something was “up”. I didn’t share with them what happened, it wasn’t appropriate, but they met me each day this week with hugs, smiles, and kind notes, like “Mrs.B, You are the best teacher in the world. I love you.” So although this tragedy had nothing to do with my job, those students and the community we have built together, are a  huge part of my life. They were the sunshine on a rainy day, when I was just trying to go on, press on, through my heartache.

Once I overcame the initial shock, I turned to picture books to try to understand and comfort myself. I understand the power of children’s books. Maybe that’s why I became a teacher in the first place.

Over the past week, as arrangements are made, and we wait to say our final goodbyes, I have been reading and seeking out children’s books.  Sometimes the simplicity of the words- the optimistic spirit- is just so calming to the soul.

I think this list is worth sharing… because sad things happen.  They happen to us and our families. They happen to friends, and they will sometimes happen to our students. It is our job to comfort our students and their families in times of grief and sorrow. So here it is- a list of a few books which I found to bring me a little comfort in this absolutely tragic time.


Love you always Jake!