With each passing year, it becomes increasingly bizarre to discuss the events of 9/11 with students. When I first started teaching, the students I taught had no recollection of that day because they were just babies. Now, each group of students is another year removed from that moment in history. While it’s easy to explain the events or share with them where I was or what I was doing on 9/11, it’s becoming more difficult for students to understand what it felt like to live through that and the sense of genuine patriotism and unity that developed among all Americans. I had the unique experience of taking a family road trip to New York City during the summer after the attacks. Of all the amazing sights that we took in, Ground Zero stood out the most. This was long enough after the wreckage had been cleared, but many years before the permanent memorial that now stands there was built. It was just a wide open pit that was fenced off, and there was a haunting silence that was present among the crowd that was gathered. I share this because it shows how experiences and emotions can contribute to learning, especially outside of the realm of the traditional classroom. It’s as important now as ever for students to be able to see and feel what is taking place and to ultimately learn from that.
Seventh and Eighth Grade are both concluding Unit 8 in their Writers’ Choice textbooks this week. Both grade levels will begin the first chapter in their vocabulary workbooks next week. Eighth grade parents, ask your kids to tell you about Fr. Mychal Judge. We’ve spent some time learning about him in Religion and his remarkable life.
Lastly, this weekend was scheduled to be our annual fall fest. One of the joys of teaching at St. Cletus, especially for as long as I’ve been here, is working the fest and being able to see the students and families who have graduated and have moved on. For those of you families who have sons or daughters in high school or who have entered their first year of college, please let them know that I wish them all the best and hope to see them again some time soon when we are all safe and well.