September 11 was a week ago yesterday and like most people around the country, I remembered that day, fifteen years ago. Where I was. How I felt. But, see, that day is remembered every day by those first responders, families, and children who were directly affected by it. While I wanted to share this on the 15th anniversary of September 11th, or perhaps even leading up to the anniversary, I did not. Partly, because I didn’t get my act together in time, and partly because I think we should remember every day. So, I share today.
Over the summer, I read Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story by Nora Raleigh Baskin and I was brought back to that day. I posted a note to Nora on Facebook and mentioned that the characters in her story were “my kids.” Between our exchange and her exchange with other teachers around the country, Nora realized that we, teachers in the classroom on September 11th, had an enormous challenge in front of us that day. In many cases, we had to carry on as “normal,” for our kids. We had to put aside our personal concerns or contact with family members in order to put on a brave face for the good of our students. This is what teaching is every day. We are the caring and kindness that students look for when they walk into the classroom. We are their safe haven. We are their security and comfort for 7 hours a day. And so, that is what we do. We set aside whatever we need to in order to to be that emotional stability for our children.
My own children were not born yet in 2001. They have no understanding of the events of that day. They have no idea what a pre-September 11th world was like. But, it’s books like Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story that can help this generation of children begin to understand. Nora Raleigh Baskin weaves the stories of four middle school students together with the backdrop of September 11, 2001. Through this book, children will learn kindness and empathy, while building their background knowledge about the day that our world changed forever.
To help teachers share their stories, and to offer a bit of catharsis, Nora created a blog on her website for teachers to share. Here is my story:
It began as any other fall day; that gorgeous blue sky and beautiful temperatures. In Montgomery County, MD, just outside the nation’s capital, we were already into our third week of school in my 5th grade class. It was my student Shannon’s birthday, so as students filed in right around 9 am, we wished her a happy birthday and got started on our morning routines. . . Continue reading
©2016 by Dawn Little for My Learning Life. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.