Saturday, May 25, 2013

Selfless Teacher Uses Her Body to Shield Students During the Oklahoma Tornado

At ONCEkids we are celebrators of mothers who show their selflessness each and everyday through their heroic actions, but we also celebrate the educators of the precious children mothers work so hard to protect. Teachers also step up and are willing to sacrifice everything, even their lives, during hardships, as teachers during the Sandy Hook shooting clearly demonstrated. Another teacher who most recently showed the selflessness teachers have when it comes to their students, is Anna Canaday.

As a recent tornado tore its way through an elementary school in Moore, Oklahoma, Canaday, along with colleague Jessica Simonds, led their terrified students into the hall and had them get down on their knees against the wall and cover their heads. She recalls how she told them it was going to be alright and was loudly praying, but as the tornado raged above the school, it looked like Canaday was going to have to establish a new plan of action. 

Canaday and Simonds grabbed all the children, huddled them together, and used their own bodies as shields as the school came crashing down on top of them. As the roof of the school collapsed on to her body, Canaday prayed aloud saying "Just take me instead because they're the babies." Among the terrified children was Canaday's own daughter, five-year-old Kali. 

After the debris had stopped crumbling around them, neighbors rushed to free the two teacher and small children from underneath the piles of wreckage, which included a car. 

Thanks to these two courageous teachers, the extent of the injuries of the children they shielded were a few scratches and busted eardrums. Canaday reports that she was not the brave one that day, but the children were the ones who acted courageously as they were organized and excellent listeners, despite their inevitable fear. 

When being called a hero, Canaday says she is not a hero but just a teacher and a mother who was doing her job and putting the most important thing first, the safety of her students and of her own daughter. 

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