15 years ago on 9/11/2001, our country experienced a major event which changed the context for which we live today. In Cincinnati (yes, I live in South East Indiana, but Cincinnati is “home”) , there is a major Labor Day celebration each year called Riverfest. People line the banks of the Ohio River on both the OH and the KY side, crowding in for a day of celebration with friends, family, and fireworks to say “goodbye to summer.” As I listened to news broadcasts about the 40th anniversary for the firework display this year, I couldn’t help but think “Gosh… 40 years ago, they didn’t have to number the lamp posts in the city so you could tell family members where you were in case the unthinkable happened. And the event organizers didn’t even consider security checkpoints to a public event like this.” My how time has changed.
This year, your students born in 2001 are now in the 8th and 9th grades. They were born into the country formed by the events of that tragic day 15 years ago. They have grown up knowing “safety” to look very different for our country than we did growing up as kids. They “have never forgotten” because they have never known anything differently.
Our NTN schools promote a culture of trust, respect, and responsibility, and on days like today, I can’t help but think about the importance of that culture for students in our schools today and how I long for the day they feel that same collaborative culture as a country. If you have not had a moment, or not take a cultural temperature check with your student since school started (perhaps since your 1st School Project), I encourage you to do so. Not only is reinforcing that positive culture beneficial to your classroom, but also to your school, across your district, within your local community, and will empower your students to create that environment in our world.
Peace, love, and never forget,