"When you Google 'hero,' there should be a picture of a principal, a school lunch worker, a custodian, a reading specialist, a teacher, or a bus monitor. Real heroes don’t wear capes. They work in America’s schools."

Powerful words from Melba Marquez-Greene, who lost her 6-year-old daughter Ana Grace in the Sandy Hook massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. Her son, who was also in the building at the time of the shootings, survived.

Greene's open letter to teachers was published by Education Week, a site for teachers and other school employees.

'Your courage will support students who are left out and overlooked, like the isolated young man who killed my daughter. At some point he was a young, impressionable student, often sitting all alone at school. You will have kids facing long odds for whom your smile, your encouraging word, and your willingness to go the extra mile will provide the comfort and security they need to try again tomorrow."

Greene went on to encourage teachers to remember to show compassion to all their students, regardless of their personal situations.

"Parents are sending their precious children to you this fall. Some will come fully prepared, and others not. They will come fed and with empty bellies. They will come from intact homes and fractured ones. Love them all."

Her entire letter can be seen here. Feel free to share with teachers and educators you know.

- George McIntyre
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