In so many ways, teachers are the keepers of history. They have a great influence over their pupils to enlighten minds and discuss and clarify events of the past. A teacher in Shanksville, PA, where the passengers and crew took down Flight 93, rather than allowing the hijackers to hit the Capitol or White House in Washington, D.C., is keeping their story alive. JP O'Connor teachers at an elementary school just a few miles from the Shanksville crash site. He remembers that fateful September 11 in 2001, and reassuring his students that they were safe in such a rural area, because the attacks were happening in big cities. Just 20 minutes later, he heard a giant BOOM, which appeared to be just past the school playground.
Mr. O'Connor has saved newspaper clippings and artifacts and collected stories about that day. He wants his students to recognize the patriotism and bravery of those Americans who sacrificed their lives to save many other Americans. He shows film clips and has great discussions with his students about that day. Sadly, although the school is just a few miles from the crash site, very few of his students have been to the memorial. He makes sure that students know what it looks like and what it stands for, as he keeps local, national, and international history alive in his elementary classroom.
"A true teacher is one who, keeping the past alive, is also able to understand the present." Confucius
To see Mr. O'Connor's classroom and hear his story, click on this link:
Visit Dede's web page for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required reading. Signed copies are available www.dederittman.com Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics.
I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books. Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self. However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37
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