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From School Lockdown to ‘Business as Usual’: A Teacher’s Day

At the end of the last school year, Hana Boscarino, a high school science teacher in Avondale, Ariz., had the opportunity to leave the classroom for a job that offered higher pay and work-from-home days, among other benefits.

But she chose to stay.

Anchored by her students, the joy of seeing them solve a physics problem for the first time, the ability to validate their negative emotions around science—and empower them to overcome them—the pride of watching them walk across the stage and collect their diplomas each year.

“Even the worst days in my classroom, I can think back to so many moments on that same day that were amazing because of my students, and I think that that triumphs every challenge I’ve had,” she said.

Education Week spent a day with Boscarino as part of a new annual project, The State of Teaching. The project highlights what it means to be an educator today.

And while that day featured many of the high points Boscarino described, it also included a school lockdown—the first for Boscarino that wasn’t a preannounced drill. In a matter of seconds, she raced through a mental checklist, ensuring her door was locked, her students were safe and out of sight from what seemed like an imminent threat.

And then it was announced over the PA system that it was a false alarm, the result of a button that “randomly went off.” And Boscarino pivoted, once again, to reassuring her students, bringing them back to the lesson and “business as usual.”

It’s just another day in the life of an educator in America.

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