Minnesota teacher: Lessons from 9/11

  • Article by: Ira Sanders
  • Updated: September 10, 2013 - 9:22 PM

Today’s students need to know about the burdens they may not realize they carry.

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LakeliverSep. 10, 13 9:35 PM

Great piece, Ira. As a former teacher, I would have a few suggestions about making your critical subjects "relevant" to your students. First of all, don't undersell them and assume they have any important interest in farces such as Honey Boo or whatever. You do, however, have to give them a context of their own that makes something as significant as personal freedom relevant to them and their lives. Finally, don't spend all of your time talking at them and spend important time finding out what is and is bot happening in their heads. They are the reason for schools and teachers. I really love your passion for what you teach and for your new job.

educator1Sep. 11, 13 5:15 AM

Brilliant. Thanks so much to the author and to the Star Tribune for publishing this.

tupelohoneySep. 11, 13 6:50 AM

I had to quit reading the minute he brought up Trayvon Martin. To put 911 and Martin in the same article is disgusting.

gophfan10101Sep. 11, 13 6:53 AM

How bout you take control of your class, smash the phone of any kid caught texting, and teach the FACTS! 9-11 has NOTHING to do with Travon Martin. Argh.....no wonder our educational system is going down hill.

change from withinSep. 11, 13 8:33 AM

Bravo, Bravo to you, Ira for the commentary!! I am happy that you are teaching and that you have an empathetic heart. Keep on doing what you do. It is appreciated by most of us.

farmeretteSep. 11, 13 8:49 AM

Mr. Sanders, when you discuss Trayvon Martin, please do not tell your students that his death was a result of racism. Please tell your students that we are a nation of laws and that the jury in the George Zimmerman case made the correct decision based on the evidence they heard and the instructions they were given. If you are going to discuss racism, please do not make it one-sided. As politically incorrect as it may be, discuss the high illegitimacy rate, the school drop out rate, the crime rate among blacks, as well as the accomplishments of black leaders and middle class. Don't forget to mention the Harlem Renaissance. When you discuss slavery, please put it in historical perspective, noting that it had been common practice for millennia. Let your students know that blacks in Africa who became slaves were captured by other African blacks and sold to slave traders. And please mention the many non-black immigrants who came to this country as indentured servants.

denierSep. 11, 13 9:29 AM

If you want to teach based on your experiences and perspectives that's fine but there are other valid experiences and perspectives. I hope you include those other prespectives so that your students can make informed opionions. Not everyone believes Zimmerman represents anger and shame and 9/11 is certainly more than just about airport inconvienences.

mklundSep. 11, 13 9:52 AM

After 9/11 we do not know who the "enemy" is. Our pundits fall back on the term "the bad guys" - as if this is a old-fashioned Western movie with black and white hats to designate the "teams!" Despite cautions from our government, the average persons thinks "Muslims." Others think "men and boys in hoodies," or "people on the streets after dark." What have we lost? Critical thinking, the goal of an education. Any sense of community or the common good. Tolerance, good will, cooperation, and yes, freedom. This is the CHOICE we have made as a society.

pumiceSep. 11, 1310:00 AM

Re: "When you discuss slavery, please put it in historical perspective, noting that it had been common practice for millennia." Slavery had been common practice for millennia, yes, farmerette--but not chattel slavery. Chattel slavery, dating to the 15th Century is unique to modern times. Lumping the slavery of antiquity together with chattel slavery is false; it is an example of revisionism. It is as disingenuous as using the civil rights language of equal opportunity for all to advocate for market-based education and health care and pension gimmicks.

pumiceSep. 11, 1310:24 AM

Re: "I had to quit reading the minute he brought up Trayvon Martin." The problem with quitting reading, tupelohoney, is that you don't read the author's point, and you don't give the author a chance to support his/her point. And you don't give yourself a chance to think about another point of view. Here's the connection Ira Sanders made between Trayvon Martin and 9/11: "The real lessons of Trayvon Martin and 9/11 are that we are an imperfect nation" in that we use racism (and sexism and age-ism and nativism) to justify income inequality just as we use terrorism to justify everlasting war.


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