30 May 2016

How One Military Vet Teaches about Memorial Day -->


I've already posted about my desire to better teach my students the true meaning of Memorial Day, but I wanted to share this excellent post by my PLN member Demetrius Ball, an incredible educator out of Maryland who also served in the Army for five years on active duty.

Demetrius was recently asked to write about his experiences as a veteran now in the classroom for PBS.org and that's exactly what he's done. The following are a couple excepts from that PBS.org post:
Before entering West Point, I had no idea what Memorial Day or Veterans Day was really all about. It was not until I experienced life on deployment did I truly understand what both represent. Now, as an educator, I feel it is my responsibility to make sure that my students do not leave high school without understanding the meaning of these two important days.
We have school on Veterans Day, so my first year teaching I decided to put together a presentation titled “A Soldier’s Experience.” I take an entire class period to share my military experience with my students. The last few years I have worn my Dress Blue or Green uniform. I discuss the difficult transition that I had adapting to life as a cadet, like struggling to qualify on the range with an M16 rifle, not feeling prepared for the academic rigor, and even failing my first class ever.
Isn't that the way it usually happens? We start something not totally understanding the significance and by the time we finish we have a much greater appreciation for that experience. What I wouldn't give to be a fly on the wall during Mr. Ball's lessons on Veterans Day, powerful!

While I never served in the military, I often thing about how my life would be different if I had. I'm grateful for the many men and women who have served and those who are currently serving. Thank you for your sacrifice and devotion to keeping this great country free!

Please take a couple minutes and go read the full article because it is so very heartfelt and impressive. Thank you Mr. Demetrius Ball for sharing your message about this important day and for being an example of making school personal and authentic!

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