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Oklahoma Teacher Asks Students to Sing 'Jesus Loves Me' During Tornado (Video)

( [email protected] ) May 23, 2013 08:53 AM EDT

Teachers have emerged as some of the biggest heroes during Monday's devastating tornado in Oklahoma. Waynel Mayes, first grade teacher at Briarwood Elementary school, is one of them.

When the tornado was approaching the school, Ms Mayes began to move the desks around and told the kids they were playing "worms", where they had to stay in their tunnels or under their desks.

Then she asked her students to play the musical instruments and sing "Jesus loves me" as loud as they could. They could scream if they were scared, Mayes said, but just don't stop singing.

All students in her class started to play really loudly and sang "Jesus loves me."

"All our teachers were so brave," Mayes said, but the kids helped, too. "They were the bravest, they were the heroes because they listened to all the teachers."

Suzanne Haley, another first grade teacher at Briarwood Elementary, was impaled by the leg of a desk as she and another teacher put their bodies in front of desks and furniture to protect their students from debris as roofs and walls collapsed.

"We could hear it approaching. It sounded like a jet ... coming closer and closer," Haley later told CNN’s Piers Morgan.

As the storm intensified, she and the students began praying. The roof blew off and a wall crashed down on their bodies.

Haley said she is grateful to be alive, and that the incredible injury she sustained isn't life-threatening.

Although she was badly injured, Haley said she needs to stay calm in front of the kids.

“Amazingly, by the grace of God, I kept it together,” she added.