Hey Tony,Hope all is well for you and yours after today.Regards,Marty
Hey Tony,Hope all is well for you and yours after today.Hi Marty,Thank you.Like everyone else, we're dealing as best as we can. Yesterday, we found out that our friend who works in the WTC missed being in his office by 10 minutes. Here on Long Island, schools were open today which was an uncertainty until this morning. Yesterday, we dealt with the situation as best we could with the kids, considering how little information we had. We're very close to NYC, and indeed, we do feel that NYC is a part of our area here, especially with so many staff and students having relatives who work there, many in the WTC and many who are police and firefighters who have been called into NYC.Today I scrapped any regular plans and devoted my day to the attack. I teach 8th grade and I felt it was necessary to address the issue. So, I began each class by discussing how the attack was of an historic magnitude the likes which our nation has never seen, and pointed out that this day will be remembered by us all for the rest of our lives. I then suggested that we should document our thoughts and then those who would like to share may do so, which would lead to a class discussion. I told them that this documentation should be something they keep forever, something they might refer to as they tell their own children and grandchildren someday about this day in history.I didn't realize that this impromptu lesson would turn out to be the most powerful in all my years of teaching.First of all, I could barely get my kids to stop writing. I've never seen 8th graders write with such passion. When I asked if anyone would like to share, the hands rose in unison.The writing of my students were filled with such emotion, I was awed by their words. One class, however, truly made me speechless. One of the boys, Julian, asked to read his first. While he could've read from his seat, he chose to stand in the front of the room. Barely into the first paragraph, he started to choke up, and the tears began to flow onto his paper. This started a few other kids to begin crying. Now remember, these are 8th graders, and one would expect some in the class to start teasing, making comments if a boy starts to cry. Not this time.To my amazement, the entire class began to rally around Julian, offering words of support and encouragement. They told him it was fine to cry, that we all felt this way. They told him his writing was wonderful, and that he was expressing the feelings of us all. Julian had a tissue, and as he tossed it in the basket, he said under his breath, "look at me, I'm crying like a little girl." At that, the rest of the class told him that he was more of a man than anyone.I tell ya, folks, it was all I could do from tearing up myself. The way these kids were there for each other, the way they supported each other at this impossible time was nothing short of awe-inspiring to me. I've never before felt such proud of students, of wonderful kids.Today I felt very good to be a teacher.Thanks for letting me share.Tony
<<The way these kids were there for each other, the way they supported each other at this impossible time was nothing short of awe-inspiring to me. I've never before felt such proud of students, of wonderful kids.Today I felt very good to be a teacher.Thanks for letting me share.>>It says a lot about their teachers, too! God Bless,California Teacher-To-Be
Great post, Tony, thanks so much for sharing that.Glad to hear you're ok.Regards,Marty
I was pretty impressed with my 7th and 8th graders as well. We are in a small private school that is very much off the beaten path, so it was amazing at how many of the children had ties to NYC or DC. One of my kids had a brother at the Pentagon, another had their father working at the WTC. Living on such a small island as we do, one child had a hard time believing that the plane that crashed in PA didn't hit his grandmother who lives there. I explained to him about the vast size of PA and the miniscule probability that a plane crashing would land on her house.We have a rather large Arab population, and it didn't take long before the comments started towards them however. This triggered a lecture about how we are a community and that Hussein and Omar and Ossama are our classmates and friends. There was no proof, (at the time,) regarding responsibility for the act, and that we needed to remember how everyone jumped to conclusions when the Federal Building in OK blew up, even though it turned out to be an idiot American who did it. Additionally, even if it were to be found out that an Arab was behind this destruction, we need to remember our history. Our Headmaster compared the act to Pearl Harbor in our assembly, and persecuting those of Arab ancestory would be no more right than the internment of those of Japenese heritage during WW2.It has been one hell of a 3rd week as a teacher, though I suppose one is not prepared to help the kids through this even with decades of experience. It has also been one hell of a week as an American. I am always amazed at how big and yet so small this world is. I had a friend who left the island to work in NYC in July. We finally received an E-mail that she is OK, having left the towers just as the plane was crashing into it. She fled through the rubble. My sister was playing tourist this weekend, and was in the towers. I am so thankful that her job makes her work during the week, which is not always the case in her profession. I am from the Boston area, and most of my family still lives there. My brother is a frequent flyer to LA, and is, or was, scheduled on American flight #11 from Boston to LA in 2 weeks. I'm sure they'll change that flight number. My parents live in Sarasota, and I am sure glad that no one tried to bomb the President while he was there. We have many friends in DC, though thankfully not working at the Pentagon.In some ways I feel as though I have been raped, and an innocence removed from my spirit. I am so fortunate, since to my knowledge I have lost no one that I personally know, yet I am not feeling joy. Relief, yes, but how can one feel joy at this time? I have had to tell my young ones, (3 and 6,) something, because the company we live and work at is on heightened security, resulting in armed check points that we have had to go through. We live at ground zero for a potential terrorist strike, and have gone through routine evacuation drills before. It is hard to stop looking over my shoulder. Life is no longer routine.But because I am a mother, because I am a teacher, I have to shut this up inside of me and be strong for my kids, both at home and school. At night we watch the TV once the boys are in bed, unable to shut it off.I am so not prepared for this.InParadise
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