As I sit here in my living room listening to the sound of bottle rockets and fireworks from the park not far from my house, I am reminded of the many people who have given so much to help build this great country. Of course, my mind wanders to the early colonials who were so courageous to have left their homelands to cross the ocean and tough it out in uncharted lands, but I also have to think about those who are in Afghanistan (and who knows where else?) today, right this very minute, all to ensure freedom for those of us who live in this melting pot we call the United States.
And while my heart is full with love for this country, I wonder if I do enough in my classroom to teach this? How do I convey patriotism? How do I teach loyalty? It comes to mind that the very best way I can teach these basic tenets of the American way of life is to model them and live them. So, yes, my class says the Pledge of Allegiance in the mornings with our hands over our hearts and our eyes gazing at the flag, and in November we will have a mock election and talk about what democracy means and how we can support that.
I am an American and though there are things about my country that make me (literally) scratch my head, I am proud to call the USA — the land of the free and the home of the brave — my home!
Do you teach patriotism?