Saturday, September 12, 2009

September 11

This is an image that will probably forever be seared in many of our minds. Most people can tell you exactly where they were when they received news of these horrible attacks on America.
For me, I was teaching second grade. We had just finished up with our calendar math when the phone in my classroom rang. I answered it and heard a very intense husband say, "The twin towers have just been hit by two planes. They think it's terrorists. You need to get to a tv when the kids go out for recess. I love you." .click.
Now, I've never been one to really be able to keep a secret or really know when to keep, slightly frazzled by this news, I called all my students back to story time area and bluntly told then what had just happened. (Yes, I now realize how young seven years old is. I hadn't quite learned everything about child development yet.) There were many looks of fear and concern and questions if they were flying to Iowa. Then one sweet, sweet little boy said, "Mrs. C, can I pray for our county?" He went on to pray the most beautiful, wise, sensitive, older-than-his-years prayer. It brought tears to my eyes to think he would one day be a godly leader.
The students then went back to their desks, and we began to continue with our day.
Not even five minutes later, the principal came to the door and called me into the hallway. "Mrs.
C, there has just been a terrible attack upon our country...we don't know very many details at this time. Please do not say a word about this to your students."
WHAT? My not-able-to-stopped mouth had just spewed all the gory facts to seven year olds. I called the students back to the story area and said, "Sometimes we need to protect our friends from sad or scary things that happen. When you go out to recess, you need to keep what I just told you a complete secret. We need to protect our friends. Please keep quiet about it and I'll let the whole class chew bubble gum for the rest of the day."
Yes, bribery at it's most finest moment. It worked, thankfully! As time has passed, it's turned into a story that brings a smile to my face. I see my former students and they'll say, "Hey Mrs. C, remember that day we got to chew bubble gum all day for not telling the secret! That was awesome!"
Well, it was a not-so-awesome lesson for me. I'm just thankful we made it through the day and that I learned a most important lesson about discretion with children!