Remember to Cry with Your Students on Patriot Day

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photo credit: Presidio of Monterey: DLIFLC & USAG via photopin cc
photo credit: Presidio of Monterey: DLIFLC & USAG via photopin cc

On the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, I showed the video below to my junior high students. At the tender age of 12, most had very little understanding of 9/11.

During the video, I had tears in my eyes.

My students seemed genuinely surprised that a teacher would become emotional in class. Although my tears were in no way contrived, this turned out to be a powerful, rapport-building moment. It helped my students see me as more than their teacher.

It showed them that I was human.

So, remember, on Patriot Day, take time to teach your students about 9/11 and about the heroes who died for us and those who survived.

And don’t be afraid to cry with your students on Patriot Day.

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Mark Barnes is the Founder of Times 10 Publications, which produces the popular Hack Learning Series, The uNseries, and other books from some of education's most reputable teachers and leaders. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and Hack Learning. Connect with @markbarnes19 on Twitter.
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