Today, as commemorative ceremonies were held around the state, I spent my day, as I did 6 years ago, teaching school. Six years ago, I taught in a community that had a person on the flights, a community that knew many of the victims and their relatives.
Now I teach in a community 30 minutes west, but still close enough to feel connected to Boston and the families. Because I believe in looking to the future, I wanted to know what the core values are of students who were still young at the time of the attacks. So I assigned my senior essay writing class the task of writing their own “This I Believe” essay with the same requirements as the NPR series by the same name. I set the due date for 9/11/07.
I am pleased to say that to a person, with no prompting from me as to thesis,Ã‚Â the beliefs they felt strongly enough to write revealed an up and coming generation of optimistic, hard working leaders who care about people: I believe in a strong work ethic; I believe that by bonding together people can achieve anything; I believe that we shouldn’t waste time wondering when something will happen when we can go and make it happen ourselves; I believe that no matter what you want to accomplish you must not let obstacles get in the way of achieving them, and so on.
Strong character and a willingness to serve are alive and well in a place many have written off: an American public high school.