Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Today In History

Today, as I sat back in my fourth grade practicum, I listened to the teacher tell the students about today in history. Today, in 1986 space shuttle Challenger took off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, yet ended very tragically. This was a chance for ordinary people to explore space, people like you and I. A teacher, I'll say it again a "teacher" was aboard the shuttle to be set free into space. 73 seconds later, the shuttle exploded in mid air as millions of viewers watched. Today, in class as this was being talked about boys were saying things like "cool", "wow, thats awesome", "I want to see this".. Instantly my heart grew heavy, these children do not understand. No, it wasn't their fault, the teacher never mentioned anyone dying, or maybe they didn't read between the lines, like I had. Never had I heard that the takeoff was delayed six days due to weather and technical difficulties. Although this may have seemed long, those six days were a gift to the families of those lost, a gift no one recognized until the fateful day was over. As the unnecessary comments continued throughout the classroom, my stomach turned. As we watched the live footage from 1986, that seventy-three seconds seemed like a lifetime to me. A lifetime full of hope, new possibilities, adventure, only to be cut short without notice. Finally the teacher addressed the issue of the comments, "have some respect, people died you know," she said. No I don't think they realized it, until you just said that. But I hope for a second that their young souls can feel sorrow. That they can recognize when something hurts many others. Sure, they weren't alive, but someday they will want the sympathy many of those families still do today. Today, in history....


  1. Powerful stuff! You never know what will come out of a child's mouth. Maybe that's why we teach, to help them along in becoming compassionate and respectful people. Events like this make us appreciate what we do have, and that's the chance to see the sun come up the next morning

  2. Your slice was very moving. As I read your post I could feel my heart grow heavy just as yours did. Sometimes I think students say things because they want to look "cool" in front of their peers, when really they do feel sorrow. Other times they just do not understand empathy for others, which is quite sad but they will hopefully learn one day.