I have a profound love of this country. From the time I was little I remember discussing history with my grandma and watching movies like Roots and North and South. I loved singing patriotic songs in music class and began writing papers about historical and political events as early as middle school. In high school, I had a heightened interest in the social studies courses. This love of history led to a minor in social studies in college. As an adult, I continue to learn and have become even more amazed at what this country stands for. One huge impact on my deep love of this country is HBO’s mini-series John Adams based on the book by David McCullough. The sacrifices the men and women made of that time to fight for the individual rights we have today amazes me. They were true revolutionaries in the sense that the America they envisioned was like no other country that ever existed. It laid the foundation for a country that believes in personal responsibility, individual rights and limited government. Many lives would be lost fighting for the very rights our founding fathers argued were natural-born rights. I have no words that can even express the degree of appreciation I have for those who have lost their lives to give us the very freedom we have today.
As teachers of this amazing country, what role do we have in instilling these values? I believe we have a vital role. In fact, along with parents, I believe public schools have a responsibility to teach the values our founding fathers fought for: freedom and individual rights. I also believe at times like this (the 10-year anniversary of 9-11) we have the responsibility to teach and instill patriotism in our children. For if they do not know how precious, amazing and unique this country is, the very freedoms so many have fought and died for will perish. I look forward to talking about America with my students, not only now, as we pay tribute to the heroes and victims of 9-11, but also throughout the year. For patriotism lies in my heart everyday. And, I hope it will lie in their hearts everyday as well.