Today is Veterans Day. Despite what many people post on FaceBook, we teachers are actually hard at work teaching civics everyday. For example, even though people don't believe it, we begin EVERY SINGLE DAY with the the Pledge of Allegiance. During this sacred time, our ENTIRE school pauses. Every adult and child stands and places hand over heart while we pledge along with a student who recites the pledge over the intercom system. After the pledge is over, my students and I sing a patriotic song. We change the song every month. Popular choices include: the Star Spangled Banner, My Country Tis of Thee, You're a Grand Ole Flag and America the Beautiful. I set the behavior expectations for this time on the first day of school. While I have a high threshold for chattiness and busy bodies, during the pledge and patriotic song I expect nothing but the best behavior. I'm explicit in explaining that soldiers have been willing to lay down their lives for our freedom and liberties. The least we can do to repay their sacrifices is to hold sacred these few moments each day.
Today is Veterans Day and tomorrow, the students will have no school to observe the holiday. It is important to me that students know why they're getting a day off. Each day we pause to read a #classroombookaday. On Friday, we read Patricia Polacco's, Pink and Say. Our Tuesday selection will be The Wall by Eve Bunting. Literature will help my students to learn about the sacrifice that our veterans have made and will teach them the importance of the holiday. Through these shared experiences my students will learn to NEVER FORGET our veterans.
Today is Veterans Day and I couldn't be more proud of the little things that my school does to show veterans that we will NEVER FORGET. We line the halls with flags from each division of the service and we line the outside of our school with the American flag. In addition, come Memorial Day, our entire school will pause to recognize members of our community, past and present, who have served in the military. We hold two school-wide concerts where each grade will sing patriotic songs. Each branch of the military will be recognized and members of our school community will be recognized for their service.
Regardless of what you may read in your social media feed, civics instruction IS happening in our public schools. Teachers are doing their part to ensure that the students we teach will become outstanding citizens who will dedicate themselves to creating a nation where everyone can thrive and live as proud citizens while always taking time to honor those whose sacrifice had provided for the freedoms and liberties we are blessed to enjoy today.