Saturday, July 19, 2014


A friend sent me this picture of TV's Fred Rogers with this quote:

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

1 comment:

Sarah Albert said...

It was a fall morning and I was going through my usual routine teaching 8th grade US History when a student rushed into my room saying that a plane had run into a building in New York. Little bits of information started coming in, then a flood of speculation, fear and morbid curiosity swept over the building. What should we tell the kids? What should we hold back?

I told the kids "This is your Pearl Harbor, this is you Kennedy Assassination. Be aware, take note, for the rest of your life, people will ask, 'where were you when the twin towers fell?' Keep your head and find the facts. In the midst of this horror, look at the ones running TO the buildings. Recognize the heroes doing good."

For the rest of the year, that was our theme. We looked at the ordinary people who did extraordinary things to improve the lives of others. We started out the year talking about the Founding Fathers but we ended the year looking at ourselves.

At the end of the year, I had volunteered to organize the 8th grade class trip to Worlds of Fun. Just as we began to talk about the cost, news broke about another tragedy, this one involving kids. Children had been sold into slavery and force onto a pirate ship off the coast of Africa. When authorities arrived, the children were no where to be found. They had been dumped into the sea. My students were shocked. They were further astounded to find out that the kids had been sold for the same amount as the price of a ticket to Worlds of Fun.

The irony hit these 13-year-olds hard. "What can we do? We're just kids." I reminded them of our theme and shared with them storied of kids who had created inventions, walked across the nation to raise funds for a cause, donated bone marrow, started charities. I helped the kids create a plan. (Really they did all the work and I just guided them by asking questions.)They decided to raise money to give to an international abolitionist organization.

We set a goal and if they met it, I was to dye my hair pink for the Worlds of Fun trip. Those students arranged a talent show and sold tickets, found a sponsor and location to have a car wash, sold candy bars, organized a raffle, and passed a coffee can through every classroom daily. Needless to say, they met their goal.

At the 8th grade recognition program at the end of the year, we showed a video/ slide show set to U2's "Beautiful Day." It began with images of an airliner ripping though Tower Two and ended with a picture of a pink haired teacher surrounded by helpers celebrating their good deeds. Mr. Rogers was right. I couldn't have been more proud.

"And see the bird with a leaf in her mouth
After the flood all the colors came out

It was a beautiful day
Don't let it get away
Beautiful day"