Today I did what I have normally done on each 9-11 anniversary in my classroom. I have a powerpoint on the screen that asks for reverence and respect as they enter the room. I ask eachstudent to say nothing during the entire 55 minute period. Pretty tough for some of the Junior High students. Heck, it is pretty tough for some of our Junior High teachers. But they always amaze me! They are respectful and attentive.
I just start speaking and recall everything I can remember about the day. I throw in some facts and much of my own emotions and stories about my family and how I was dealing with the day. They always seem to be interested as they listen to my story. But I think that is exactly why they listen because of the power of story. Who doesn’t love a good story, especially when it is true and you can connect with it on multiple levels.
I then show them several videos from that awful day. It is hard for many to watch, teacher and student alike. If there is time I ask them to respond in writing or to write a letter to the firefighters, policeman or others who serve. I then send those to the appropriate place. It is a wonderful experience. This year we included multiple classes at once. We were packed in like sardines, but it very well and most were well behaved.
I will tell you though, after telling my story five times and reliving each of the emotions I felt during the day, well, I am one tired teacher. I am exhausted! My plan is to go home and run a few miles, cook dinner and hopefully get my second wind, we will see. If you are interested in listening to part of my presentation you can access it here. I uploaded it as a podcast on the site my wife and I share at www.twoteachersintexas.com. We blog and mostly podcast over there. Would love to have you visit and download our podcast and leave a comment and send some feedback.
To all who gave their all on 9-11 or as a result of it, thank you and my God Bless and continue to comfort you! Until tomorrow, peace.