Dade County teacher gives her students perspective on 9/11
Dade County High School teacher Kaity Carter recounted 9/11 from her own perspective as a young girl in front of her history classes today. By telling her experience, and showing her students other first-hand accounts, she hoped to make this more than just a lesson in a history book.
"9/11 is one of those events throughout American history that I look back on and I can say, that changed everything," said Carter.
Her goal was to show her students perspective.
"They have been living effected by 9/11 and they didn't even know it," said Carter.
10th grader Ollie Adkins said that it was hard to understand the gravity of what happened.
"Most of my life when we had those assemblies, when I was younger I didn't really grasp fully what it was about because I didn't think it would affect me at all," said Adkins.
All of her students like Adkins weren't alive to experience 9/11 first hand. Carter's task was helping them understand.
"Having them read those primary sources, read the real-time, hear... This is one of those few events where they can hear real-time, they can hear the voices, they can hear the tears, they can hear the screams and cries," said Carter.
Carter showed them a video posted by the Transportation Security Administration. The video had real-time calls made by dispatchers and victims.
"Sean it's me I just wanted to let you know I love you and I'm stuck in this building in New York, there's lots of smoke and I just wanted you to know I love you always," said a caller inside one of the Twin Towers.
"Baby, you have to listen to me carefully, I'm on a plane that's been hijacked. I'm on the plan, I'm calling from the plane, I wanna tell you I love you. Please tell my children that I love them and I'm so sorry babe. I hope to be able to see your face again baby, I love you. Goodbye," said a caller on one of the hijacked planes.
Adkins said Carter helped her understand the gravity and the terror of the event.
"Now that she put into my shoes, like if she were to put herself in my shoes and give me that first-person view of everything, it changes everything," said Adkins.
After her class watched the three-minute video she had them journal about it, to help them process what they saw.
"Once you see something on paper, it's so much easier to discuss it, it's so much easier to process through it," said Carter.
Adkins read a part of her journal entry, she was particularly affected by the phone calls.
"Just thinking about having to make the call to the people that I love, the person that I love telling them that I wouldn't be making it out or home, and the anguish of this is how it ends and it being totally unfair would be terrible," said Adkins.
Carter said that this exercise showed her just how thoughtful her students are, and that by teaching them visual, audio, and first-hand experience that 9/11 is never forgotten.