Twenty-three years ago I was teaching third grade at Dewey Elementary. As a few classes crossed a busy street to sing Christmas carols at a nursing home, a girl looked up at me and asked, “Mrs. Gameros, would you lay down your life for me?” I was taken aback because, strangely, that very thought had just gone through my mind. I could only sincerely reply, “I'd like to think I would.” This incident has crept into my memory too many times over the years with reports of school shootings. Especially in March 1998 when I heard the report of Jonesboro on the TV in the hospital where my first grandchild was being born. On Dec. 14, teachers did exactly that. Teachers give abundantly of themselves every day with their love, concern, time; providing warm coats and hats, food, lodging, medical referrals, counseling, encouragement. It's a unique profession that's not just a job, but a calling. A teacher truly touches the future. Teaching rarely requires the laying down of one's life, but when it does, there's no hesitation.