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Teacher Hurt in Okla. Tornado Returns to School to Support Students

(CBS News) MOORE, Okla. -- Moore, Okla., reached a milestone Friday in its recovery from the devastating tornado back in May. School opened for the first time since the twister tore through the city, killing 24 people, many of them students at an elementary school.

(CBS News) MOORE, Okla. -- Moore, Okla., reached a milestone Friday in its recovery from the devastating tornado back in May. School opened for the first time since the twister tore through the city, killing 24 people, many of them students at an elementary school.

Jennifer Doan used her body to protect her students as the tornado bore down on Plaza Towers Elementary in May.

Jennifer Doan used her body to protect her students as the tornado bore down on Plaza Towers Elementary in May.

 / CBS News

There is a memorial now where the school once stood; the surviving students are attending class at a junior high.

"The first thing that comes to mind is the final seconds -- when we knew it was coming," says Jennifer Doan, who huddled in the hallway with 11 third-graders.

Seven were killed by the tornado.

Doan says she still has flashbacks.

"The flashbacks are mainly darkness," she says. "Darkness and crying."

A woman is pulled out from under tornado debris at the Plaza Towers School in Moore, Okla., Monday, May 20, 2013. A tornado as much as a mile (1.6 kilometers) wide with winds up to 200 mph (320 kph) roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on an elementary school.

Jennifer Doan is pulled out from under tornado debris at the Plaza Towers School in Moore, Okla., Monday, May 20, 2013. 

/ AP Photo Sue Ogrocki

We first met Doan hours after she was pulled from the rubble. Her sternum and spine were fractured.

"I looked up at that door, and I put my head down and it just hit," she said at the time.

Doan said she remembered using her body to cover some of her students.

"I put my arms around two of them," she said.

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"It hasn't been three months yet, so it's still pretty fresh for me," Doan says.

Watch: Inside Plaza Towers Elementary following devastating tornado, below.

"I'm not ready in any sense," she says, of going back to teaching. "Me not being able to come back makes me feel like I'm abandoning them almost. I mean, I ask myself all the time, what i could have done or why didn't we do this?"

Two of the students she was able to protect: 10-year-old Xavier and 9-year-old Kai.

Asked if she thinks the start of school will allow the students to find more closure, as well, Doan says, "I hope so, I really hope so."

Watch: Injured Okla. teacher Jennifer Doan says, "I wish I could have done more," below.

She hopes to move forward, too. A big step begins with a little boy she is expecting in January.

Doan agrees it's a miracle the baby lived through the disaster.

"It's probably why I'm having such a hard time coming up with a name -- just nothing seems quite special enough, I guess," she says.

Doctors say Doan should be ready to teach by next year -- in the new school built to replace the one destroyed.

For information on how to support Jennifer Doan, click herehere.

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