Our Superintendent challenged us to share reasons we are thankful for our school district, coworkers and community for seven days. I missed yesterday, so this post is for Thursday, November 9th.
I’m thankful for the great conversations my job allows me to have with my students. Thursday, our warm-up activity was to define the main idea behind an artwork. I chose Norman Rockwell’s famous Freedom from Fear, one of a four painting series that Rockwell did in 1943. I chose it because the next day was our Veteran’s Day Celebration and this painting illustrates how our armed forces keeps this nation free from fear.
What always surprises me is the children’s gut reaction to this tender scene of a mother and father tucking their children into bed at night. The room gets quiet as they take in the moment. Their responses were all connected to parents. “Maybe the children are sick and the mom is taking care of them.” Seeing the newspaper in the father’s hand, one student said, ” The Dad has been reading them a bedtime story.” I wondered how many of my children have these moments in their homes. But they all sense somehow that is right that children should be safe. Rockwell is a master of visualizing what is good about people.
It was only after we dug deeper into the history and timing of the paintings that they understood the message of how our Armed Services defend our right to be free from fear. We talked about honoring those brave men and women on Veteran’s Day. A powerful message during these uncertain times.
So today I am thankful to be able to pass on the traditions and history of our great country in conversations with my students.
Image: By Goku iroshima – U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16925982