MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) Teachers at Murphy High School were back in their classrooms Saturday. They weren't getting ready for the New Year, instead they were collecting their supplies and heading over to Clark-Shaw Magnet School.
Murphy was heavily damaged in the Christmas day tornado, and won't be ready in time for the new semester.
What was broken at Murphy was more than just cosmetic; the scars run much deeper. "I just sat in the parking lot and cried," Barbara Bateman said. It was the first day she and other teachers have been back to the school to find anything worth saving after the tornado.
They packed what they could take to their temporary home at Clark-Shaw.
"Life is all about growing, and in this there's going to be some growing pains, but we're going to use this to learn," principal William Smith told Local 15 News.
John Green hides that pain by keeping busy. But when he stops to think of his 27 years at Murphy, emotion takes over. "To see assignments still on the board, and uh," he paused fighting tears, "there's a job to be done."
Becca Mullins felt it the moment she set foot in her classroom. "When you step on the glass and see everything strewn across your room, covered with debris, it really sends it home." Home is such an important word for this group of educators; much like the word history. The two are always linked as one: not something these teachers pack, though, it's something they always carry.
"As long as that panther is still out there, the rest is piece of cake," one teacher said.
They understand well students are watching their reaction; proof that teaching happens well beyond a building alone. "It's a beautiful place and it will be beautiful again."