Teachers don’t cry….

For the past couple of weeks we have been reading Warriors Don’t Cry, an autobiography of Melba Patillo Beals who was one of the little Rock Nine. We have examined the constitutional crisis that took place in 1957 by exploring the 14th Amendment, the 10th Amendment, Article VI (Supremacy Clause), Article II (Take Care Clause) and the Article IV guarantee of a republican (not capitalized) government for each and every state. We have read the court’s opinion in Brown v Board of Education. We have discussed the doctrine of States Rights, even the concepts of nullification and interposition. We have learned lots of legal vocabulary including jurisdiction, injunction, subpoena, plaintiff, executive order.

Yesterday we watched the first part of the second episode of Eyes on the Prize which shows the footage from the integration at Central High. Yes, we have totally immersed ourselves in the story, politics, constitutional tension of integration in 1957 in Little Rock Arkansas.

Today as I was walking down the hall, one of my students caught me and said how much he enjoyed watching the video yesterday and would we be able to watch the rest of it. I said we would probably finish it on Monday. He said, “Great. You know, I didn’t realize it was a real event until today. I thought it was just, you know, a story.”

I had to remind myself, as I lifted my jaw off the floor and tried to reduce the size of my saucer-shaped eyes, and as I uttered the only word available to my brain at the time, “Oh.” Yes, I had to remind myself, ever so gently, that Teachers don’t cry.

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9 Responses to Teachers don’t cry….

  1. My kitchen table is surrounded by teen agers for whom teachers like you make a difference in their lives. Thank you for being such a thorough and authentic teacher. I so enjoy your posts. Suzi

  2. You mean, just like in baseball, there is no crying in teaching? Someone should have told me that years ago!

  3. I taught for seven years and when I had to say goodbye to one of my classes, I cried. We’d bonded so much, there was no way I could say goodbye without crying. I saw my students cry too during The Diary of Anne Frank. It hits some of them pretty hard. I think there can be room for tears in school. Any true emotion speaks to kids on a different level.

  4. Jerome Bloom says:











  5. Jerome Bloom says:








  6. Mrs. Chili says:

    I’m getting ready to read To Kill a Mockingbird with my freshmen and The Help with my seniors. I know the older kids know that there’s more to these stories than just “stories,” but I’m not convinced that my freshmen really get it. I may have to show them Eyes on the Prize as supplement to the work we’ll do with the book; I don’t feel like we can be full citizens without really understanding this part of our history.

  7. beverlydiehl says:

    I think, in a way, your student’s ignorance is a good thing. It means he is being raised in a household, in a family, with with a circle of friends, none of whom are expressing that kind of racist hate/fear that existed only 50 years ago.

    I remember as a young student first learning about the Holocaust, and thinking it obviously happened in ancient times, like the Spanish Inquisition. Truly a shock to the system to realize that it was so recent.

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