After yesterday, I knew I had to do something with my students.
I tried, without success, to teach myself to make origami paper
peace cranes. So I had a fall back idea. I put this quote on the
board: “it is better to light just one small candle than to curse the
darkness”. I talked to my classes about not becoming the same as
the people who flew airliners into New York and Washington. We
made a list of "positive" words that were important to us all.
Remember. I'm from the 60's, Peace and Love and all that stuff.
Some words generated were: Peace, Love, Prayer, Family, Home,
Happiness, Children, Hugs, etc. Then on 4 inch strips we created words
for display. I tried to turn the hate around to topics that should be
important to all of us. I had 5 classes today (shortened Wednesday).
My last period helped me put up our display in a prominate showcase
for the rest of the school. Teachers have mentioned how moving it
is. I realize I'm imposing my liberal 60's values on these kids, but
soon it will be their world and I'd like it to hang around through out
Only a very few 8th grade boys balked at my lesson. They said, "After
what they did you want us to love them." "No", I said, "I want you to
do this for yourself and your friends, not for them." One girl in 2nd
period said, " I realize what you are asking, but I don't think I can do
it. We lost friends and family in New York." I talked to her for awhile
and asked her to try in her own way. When I spoke to her mother at
lunch (she works in our cafeteria) I was able to tell her that her
daughter did some of the best work. She did one sign for "Freedom"
and one for "America" with the entire pledge of allegiance on it. I found
out that they used to live in New York and three of the lost fire fighters
were their family.
It was a good day, but it will be a long time in healing all the wounds.
My day started when a student from last year gave me a big hug as
she entered the building. It's my duty week and I'm stationed at the
main door. "I'm the Wal Mart greeter."