Monday, September 11, 2017

Sixteen Years Later...

For the past few years I've taught a short research unit on the events on 9/11/01 with my students. Realizing several years ago that my current class, at the time, had only been a year old, it dawned on my that the date didn't mean the same for them as it did for me. Coupling that with the notion that some had never talked to their parents about where they had been that day, we began to learn about it together. 

This year's group of seventh graders just wrapped up their inquiry today. We read 14 Cows for America together and they worked on a blog around the topic of 9/11. Some wrote fiction stories taking place then, some wrote informational pieces, others shared poetry. I wrote my own poem, thinking back on these faces that I looked into on the day that shook the world.

Here's my poem from today. Sending peace and love to you all. 

The Day That Changed My World...

The day that changed my world 
When I realized that evil does,
Lurk within the hearts of men.

The day that would make many children
Say goodbye to parents.
Families forever altered.
So much loss,
So much heartache.
Senseless violence.

And yet,
Goodness triumphed.

Heroes prevailed.

They could be found in

Heroes can truly be found everywhere,
If we know where to look for them.

Sixteen years ago,
I stood in front of a classroom.
Nine year old children,
Staring back at me.
I had gone to the door,
Heard the whispered news,
Images filling my mind,
Horror clutching my heart.

But, like teachers everywhere,
I shoved those images aside.
Knowing that my role was one of calming.
To ensure that life,
For now,
Went on as normal for these kids.

I taught math, social studies, science, and reading.
I hugged kids as they fought with their friends.
I told stories from our picture books.
I smiled,

And yet,
Inside my brain was racing.
Inside my heart hurt.
Inside my stomach ached.

I watched my beautiful students,
And wondered about what world
I was sending them home to at 3:05pm.

I remained calm,
While outside my classroom,
I knew the world had irrevocably changed.
I had changed too,

We all did.