(source: James LeGrand)
I just hung up from a videoconference with teachers and Ford's Theater. The group is imagining what a website for the 150th anniversary of the Lincoln assassination would look like. A great conversation.
But something was said that has me thinking.
Lincoln's assassination was a defining moment in a decade of them. One of the things about a defining moment is that it gives that generation a common denominator. A point on a clock or calendar that becomes shorthand for their future.
Pearl Harbor (source: Library of Congress)
Kennedy's assassination (source: National Archives)
Man landing on the moon (source: National Archives)
9/11 (source: USA Today/Chris McGrath-Getty Images)
BTW-this is the list of defining moments by the San Jose Mercury. We can argue about what is or isn't a defining moment ...but that isn't the point of this post.
What I am thinking about what my responsibility is as an educator during a defining moment. With only nine years in the classroom, I haven't had one yet. I am pondering how to use other defining moments to prepare my charges for the one on their horizon--we might not be able to see it yet, but we know its inevitable. If they can see that irretrievable sadness can be used for good. If they can see that that sadness can be survived by surviving it as a community. I firmly believe part of my job as an educator moves beyond books and data into how best to grow into young women and men this world needs (notice that I said world and not country...that is a whole other blog). History isn't just learned; its made. How well am I preparing my students for that?
Still wondering on this. Still pondering ...