Moving on – one from the archives

9 Oct

I began my teaching career in the fall on 1997.

I remember the thrill of getting that first teaching job like it was yesterday. I was young and wanted nothing more than to prove myself.

I worked hard. I worked/lived in the middle of nowhere. I had no access to teaching ressources so I made my own. I “worked” 6 days a week. I gave myself Friday night and Sunday morning off. Saturdays were given to marking and Sunday nights to planning lessons.

It was during my second year of teaching that “Columbine” happened. In our province, we had a copy-cat attack the very next year.

These events made me question my very choice of profession.

Through a series of very fortunate events…I was offered a job overseas and I lept at it.

Fast forward….fifteen years and three continents later….

This afternoon, I watched a play in Bangkok. A play put on by Yr10 students as part of their final assessment and I was moved. Obviously not in the same way that the Yr 9 and 10 audience was. There were several moments when the teenage audience reacted in ways that I found profoundly offensive. They laughed when the actors on stage talked of the planes hitting buildings. They laughed when the actors spoke of loosing friends. This was very hard hard for me to take. I wanted to yell out, but I didn’t.

I was already a fully fledged adult when 9/11 happened. Today’s audience was between the ages of 2 and 4 on that Tuesday morning. They can not possibly comprehend what the rest of us went through on that day; never mind on the days, weeks and months that followed.

Since that infamous day, I’ve seen movies and read books that portrayed the events of 9/11 but this was my first experience with a play. There is just something about live theater that is so much more personal.

I was caught off guard by the emotions that it brought up.

The reality for me is that I now have teaching colleagues who were 14 yrs old when Columbine happened and 16 years old when the World Trade Towers fell. Their teenage years were touched by a fear that I can not possibly comprehend.

Both events impacted me in ways that I have trouble articulating. I suspect that the students in that theater that day felt the same way.

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