SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — No matter how far away Uvalde, Texas is from Central New York, teachers and educators bond over that greif.

“I think a universal connection that we all have is education,” English Language Arts Leader at VVS Melanie Miller said.

“So whether it’s 100 miles or here, our hearts are all connected regardless of where it’s happening, it is in the forefront of all of our minds.”

Waking up the day after a tragedy like the one in Texas and having to put on a brave face for your students is difficult, but one President of the North Syracuse Education Association, the teachers Union in the North Syracuse Central School District John Kuryla have grown accustomed to.

“So many kids just need to be heard,” he said, “They’re processing, oftentimes verbally, trying to get through some of their own emotions on this and again. And as teachers, we set aside our baggage and deal with the work that’s in front of us, which is all of our kids.”

Miller says while it may seem harsh, it is one of the best ways to make their students more comfortable.

“It really is a balance of addressing what students are feeling with helping them get through their day. And then once I get home, I can cry over and over what happened and deal with my own emotions, because I don’t think we ever truly prepare for something like this to happen.”

And for Kuryla it further emphasizes a growing feeling amongst educators.

“We’re no longer in this environment where schools are safe zones as they have been portrayed to be,” he said, “So we work very hard to help kids feel safe. You can’t learn if you don’t feel safe.”