A reader (Linda from Connecticut) called my attention to this beautiful commentary by David Bosso, who is Connecticut’s teacher of the year for 2012. He explains his reaction to the tragic events at Newtown and how the brave actions of his colleagues helps the public understand the work of teachers. Every teacher in America is grieving their loss but is proud to be a teacher, inspired by their sacrifice and their love of their students.

He writes:

“To so many, the educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School demonstrate that the core values of education mirror the greatest ideals of humanity, and they are exemplars in this regard. They offer us hope, and reinforce our belief in the goodness of others and the power of education. In an era of accountability, standards, testing and data, they affirm that what ultimately matters most are the immeasurable lessons and the enduring relationships teachers cultivate with their students.

“To the educators of Sandy Hook Elementary School, thank you for the powerful, inspiring example of dedication and compassion you have given us. You have made, and continue to make, a difference to so many. In the midst of this unfathomable loss and profound sorrow, you have buoyed our spirits and given us hope. Because of your passion, courage, sacrifice, and devotion, I am once again reassured to proudly declare to educators everywhere: Never again say, “I am just a teacher.”

David Bosso of Berlin is the 2012 Connecticut Teacher of the Year and teaches at Berlin High School.