California Educator

October 2011

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9/11 Teaching about a day that changed the world forever Story by Sherry Posnick-Goodwin Photos by Scott Buschman DO YOU REMEMBER where you were and what you were doing on Sept. 11, 2001 — the day the world changed forever? Monica Stewart, a sixth-grade teacher in Palmdale, Los Angeles County, will never forget receiving a phone call from a friend telling her to turn on the television. "I was pregnant wi th my oldest son and my friend said, 'You have to turn on the TV r ight now, the Twin Tow- ers have been attacked!' And I said, 'What?' And I turned on the TV and watched one of them fall and said, 'Oh my God.' It gives me goose bumps now. I was 24 years old. Many older people have compared it to when they heard about the assassination of President Kennedy as a defin- ing moment of their generation where they can remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news. For my generation, it was that moment." Stewart's students were just Teacher Monica Stewart helps Dimas Molina write a letter of appreciation to those in the Palmdale community who risk their lives for the safety of others. babies when the U.S. suffered the terrorist attack, but as the 10th anniversary approached, she decided to conduct a history les- >>9:03 AM HIJACKERS CRASH ANOTHER PLANE, UNITED AIRLINES FLIGHT 175, INTO THE WTC'S SOUTH TOWER, KILLING EVERYONE ON BOARD AND HUNDREDS INSIDE THE BUILDING. >>9:24 AM THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRA- TION (FAA) NOTIFIES THE NORTHEAST AIR DEFENSE SECTOR (NEADS) OF THE SUSPECTED HIJACKING OF YET ANOTHER PLANE, FLIGHT 77, AFTER PAS- SENGERS AND CREW ABOARD ARE ABLE TO ALERT FAMILY MEMBERS ON THE GROUND. 9:15AM 9:30AM son on the subject, as did other CTA members around the state. Conveying the enormity of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon with- out traumatizing youngsters or making them feel unsafe was a challenge. So was making students connect with a trag- edy that occurred when they were babies or before they were born. "History has a way of repeat- ing itself, and we have to know what happened in the past so we don't make the same mis- takes in the future," says Stew- art, a member of the Palmdale Elementar y Teacher s As so- ciation. "I want them to feel a sense of being an American and to feel American pride at the way we came together." The events of 9/11 — which killed approximately 3,000 civil- ians, sparked wars in the Mid- dle East, changed civil rights in Amer ica, and impact ed foreign policy, travel and a presidential election — are not included in California's state stan- dards, although that will likely change during the next revision. Nonetheless, some CTA members felt that, standards or not, the milestone anniversary could not be overlooked. timeline continued on page 20 October 2011 / 19

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