This is what your child will hear next Wednesday morning when we do our first updated lockdown drill of the year. Actually, what they will hear is:
“This is a drill. Lockdown. Locks, Lights, Out of sight. This is a drill. Lockdown. Locks, Lights, Out of sight.”
As one of the first grade teachers told me when she was practicing with her students, “I asked them, ‘What’s my job?’ They said, ‘Locks and lights.’ ‘What’s your job?’ ‘Out of sight.'” It’s a simple thing that, like fire drills and tornado drills, will go a long way in preparing the students in the unlikely event that we would need to do the real thing. Unfortunately, in our world, this is something for which we need to prepare them. But it doesn’t have to be big and scary. Rather, it’s one more way that we can prepare their “muscle memory” by practicing.
So, what can you do at home? Here are a few ideas:
- Have an open discussion (age-appropriate) about how your child feels about the lockdown practices that the teacher has done in the classroom already. Ask, “How do you feel about this? Do you feel safe at school?” Then let them lead. You don’t need to plant ideas by asking, “Are you scared?” Sometimes we, as adults, are more concerned because we think of all the potential things that could happen. Children think like children. Take the lead from how your child is feeling and respond accordingly.
- In November, we included a link for the children’s book, I’m Not Scared, I’m Prepared! by Julia Cook. If you have a younger child (PreK-2nd grade), you may want to discuss some of the concepts that are well-presented in this book.
- If your child is concerned, share general safety guidelines that we use all the time with children: look both ways before crossing the street, wear a helmet when biking, during a fire crawl low in smoke, etc. These are all ways that we practice staying safe.
- Finally, remind your child that God, our loving Father, always keeps them in His loving care. He also sends His angels to watch over us. We pray the Prayer to St. Michael at the end of Mass every day, asking his protection.
We anticipate that this drill will be just one more standard procedure that will take place in our standard routines and procedures. Our teachers are well-prepared and we want your children to be so also. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Sister Mary Michael or me.
In the closing words of the Divine Office that the Church prays every night: “May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life.” Amen!