Lesson on Heroes

The 9/11 Memorial & Museum provides lesson materials such as this one for students of various ages.

The events of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have become memories that have been forever burned into the minds of those that lived it. Scott McComb, the supervisor of social studies for the Calvert County public school system, was about a month into his job when that defining day unfolded. “We were in an administration supervising meeting [when the attacks occurred]. ... It was one of those moments where you never forget where you were or what you were doing,” McComb said of that day. Jack Tuttle, the current social studies content specialist for Charles County public school system, was a teacher at La Plata High School the morning of the attack. Tuttle recalled how faculty first learned about the attacks and how the feelings changed from a “general interest” to “fear and concern” as the reality of the day set in. In the immediate aftermath, the question became how to help students make sense of what they had just seen. Tuttle said that in the days and weeks that followed, he tried to help students in his modern history class make sense of what they had just seen, and put together the dots of what had happened that day. “I was just trying to find the information that students had already been exposed to by the media and the news and trying to help them make sense of it as much as possible,” the teacher said. McComb said that in the first days after the attack, the faculty worked to make sure students felt safe and had teachers that listened to their concerns about what happened. As the years moved on, Calvert public schools marked the day with yearly commemorations of the attack in the form of an announcement and a moment of silence in memory of the victims. After a period of time, McComb said, the school system transitioned into teaching the event and the response as a historical event. Kevin Wright, supervisor of social studies for St. Mary’s County public school system, said that the Maryland State Department of Education provides a guide for how to teach about 9/11 to high schoolers. Current high school students were not born yet when the attacks occurred two decades ago. According to the High School U.S. History Framework provided on the state department of education website, the events of Sept. 11 are taught as a greater part of a lesson on domestic and foreign terrorism. Students discuss issues related to foreign and domestic terrorism, including the Sept. 11 attacks and the war on terror that followed. Students learn about these events as a way to discuss the United State’s response to both forms of terrorism in the years since. Teaching about the history of what happened can also be a tool in combatting the large amount of misinformation and conspiracy theories that have come in the wake of the event. Lisa Terlecki, a social studies teacher at Maurice J. McDonough High School in Charles, said that she hoped teaching students the facts of what happened can parse what is true and what was false about the attacks. “It gives you the opportunity to get that out in the air and address it,” Terlecki said. Terlecki also said it was important for students to discuss what they know about that day to give them a better understanding of what happened. “It’s just really important for kids to know that in the classroom it’s a safe space to respectfully bring that stuff up so we can respectfully explain why that conspiracy theory exists and why it’s incorrect,” she said.

The events of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have become memories that have been forever burned into the minds of those that lived it.

Scott McComb, the supervisor of social studies for the Calvert County public school system, was about a month into his job when that defining day unfolded.

“We were in an administration supervising meeting [when the attacks occurred]. ... It was one of those moments where you never forget where you were or what you were doing,” McComb said of that day.

Jack Tuttle, the current social studies content specialist for Charles County public school system, was a teacher at La Plata High School the morning of the attack.

Tuttle recalled how faculty first learned about the attacks and how the feelings changed from a “general interest” to “fear and concern” as the reality of the day set in.

In the immediate aftermath, the question became how to help students make sense of what they had just seen.

Tuttle said that in the days and weeks that followed, he tried to help students in his modern history class make sense of what they had just seen, and put together the dots of what had happened that day.

“I was just trying to find the information that students had already been exposed to by the media and the news and trying to help them make sense of it as much as possible,” the teacher said.

McComb said that in the first days after the attack, the faculty worked to make sure students felt safe and had teachers that listened to their concerns about what happened.

As the years moved on, Calvert public schools marked the day with yearly commemorations of the attack in the form of an announcement and a moment of silence in memory of the victims. After a period of time, McComb said, the school system transitioned into teaching the event and the response as a historical event.

Kevin Wright, supervisor of social studies for St. Mary’s County public school system, said that the Maryland State Department of Education provides a guide for how to teach about 9/11 to high schoolers. Current high school students were not born yet when the attacks occurred two decades ago.

According to the High School U.S. History Framework provided on the state department of education website, the events of Sept. 11 are taught as a greater part of a lesson on domestic and foreign terrorism.

Students discuss issues related to foreign and domestic terrorism, including the Sept. 11 attacks and the war on terror that followed. Students learn about these events as a way to discuss the United State’s response to both forms of terrorism in the years since.

Teaching about the history of what happened can also be a tool in combatting the large amount of misinformation and conspiracy theories that have come in the wake of the event.

Lisa Terlecki, a social studies teacher at Maurice J. McDonough High School in Charles, said that she hoped teaching students the facts of what happened can parse what is true and what was false about the attacks.

“It gives you the opportunity to get that out in the air and address it,” Terlecki said.

Terlecki also said it was important for students to discuss what they know about that day to give them a better understanding of what happened.

“It’s just really important for kids to know that in the classroom it’s a safe space to respectfully bring that stuff up so we can respectfully explain why that conspiracy theory exists and why it’s incorrect,” she said.

Twitter: @DarrylSoMdNews