Everything I Know I Learned in Pre-K

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Sep 12 2011

September 11- 10 years on

This weekend is the first time I’ve felt a tinge of relief that I am not yet in the classroom.

View of the World Trade Center site lights from my apartment.

I will be teaching 3 and 4 year-olds. How do you explain to small children who have only ever known what it is to live in this post-9/11 world how their city, their country, their world changed completely on this day 10 years ago? Having grown up in New York, and living in lower Manhattan, just blocks from the World Trade Center, I vividly remember what it was like to be here, and am very aware of how much things have changed.

As friends have talked to me about how they, their co-teachers, and their schools have gone about “teaching” September 11th, it occurs to me just how lucky I am that I don’t have to teach it (just yet anyway). What happened that day means something different to everyone, and requires a great deal of care and delicacy in approach. In New York, no one was untouched, whether or not they actually knew someone who died. For some, there was disruption in our lives, while for others, there was extreme distress and loss. I don’t know that I am capable of teaching such things to small children.

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