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Never Forget


My first year of teaching I was a long-term sub for 20 weeks in one district and 20 weeks in a different district. While in my second position, I interviewed in a third district for a probationary job as the 9-12 English AIS Teacher and got it. Landing that job was both exhilarating and scary. While I certainly wanted the job, there are always butterflies when starting in a new place.

In late August, I went in for orientation and met a handful of people. Honestly, I can’t even remember Opening Day, but I do remember feeling in the beginning that everything and everyone was new to me. Fast forward a couple of weeks and I still didn’t really have students yet because I was creating schedules for my caseload. I was in my classroom and there were people bustling in the hallway. I went into the hallway to see what was going on and I saw two teachers talking in the hallway. One was crying and the other was on her class phone. I heard the one say something about a plane flying into one of the World Trade Center towers and that a second one did as well so they’re saying it might be on purpose. At that time, it was unthinkable that anyone would use a plane as a bomb, so the idea that this was a terrorist attack didn’t initially cross the minds of the teachers in the hallway. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for the unthinkable idea to become an unthinkable reality.

You don’t need me to tell you that the world changed on September 11, 2001. Yet, some people reading this were so young at the time that they have no memory of that day or what life was like before. For those who are too young, the idea of sitting with a friend or loved one in an airport terminal or going to an airport for dinner, etc., is now shocking. Current seniors were not even born when 9/11 occurred and in the not too distant future, many of the parents of our students won’t have been born yet either. I’m sharing this to share perspective and to say that even though there is distance between this monumental tragedy and today, we should always remember…

  • Those who died.

  • Those who committed those heinous acts of terrorism were outliers, not true representatives of their faith.

  • There are heroes everywhere.

  • When things are at their worst, we can find new ways to be at our best.

With regard to 9/11, I’m wondering…

  • What are your memories?

  • What lessons do you take away from this tragedy?

  • What impact does 9/11 have on you?

  • Most importantly, what ideas do you have to ensure that we never forget?


P.S. This week, I've asked Alice Aspinall, author of children's books, Everyone Can Learn Math, Let's Explore Math, and Look for the Math Around You (series), for a catch. Here's what she caught and why: Global Math Week and Exploding Dots! James Tanton created the phenomenon we call Exploding Dots, where students begin exploring base two and end up learning basic computations in base ten through a magic dot machine. Global Math Week starts October 10 - join people from all around the globe as they experience math joy through Exploding Dots!

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