September 11 – What the Teachers Remember

Thank you to all of the teachers who shared their memories about being in or out of the classroom on September 11th, 2001. This post is from a few years back, but I return to it every September 11 and think about the teachers. Please share a comment below about what you remember from that day.

A few more memories were shared today…


ESL Lesson Plan about September 11
ESL Lesson Plan about 9/11 Heroes
Larry Ferlazzo’s Best Sites to Learn about 9/11


Leave a Comment ↓

  1. Tara Benwell says:

    Oct 02, 2017 at 8:14 am

    Here is a message we received from one of the students who used this lesson. Thanks for sharing your memory, Fabrício.

    “My name is Fabrício P. C., I am from Brazil, from a city called
    Brusque, in the State of Santa Catarina.

    I study English with a very smart teacher and she uses
    ESL Library material to teach us, which I consider a very good one,
    specially because always brings to us current and day-by-day themes that help us to connect easily with the language.

    We are now studying about September 11th, talking about memories about that day, and it’s because of that I am writing you.

    I have simple and very clear memories of that morning. It was a normal day for me, like any other during the week, but not so longer. I was at work, in that time, at a big terry towels company and we had customers in USA, including in New York. I was at my desk, handling many issues as always when I was surprised with the terrible news from USA. In the first moment I thought it was not true, I saw unbelievable images. I was astonished, and I cry with the whole world about that absurd that we were watching.

    Actually, till today, when I think about what happened in that September
    11th, it is still hard to believe.”

  2. Fiona says:

    Sep 11, 2011 at 5:38 am

    I was making coffee when I heard a radio report about the White House being evacuated. I thought it was a prank until I heard the newscaster catch her breath, then sob.

    I turned on the t.v. and sat stunned. My son’s dad and I couldn’t decide whether to send him to school or not. We live in a city that has major naval and army bases. We did send him in the end, with a promise to monitor throughout the day (we didn’t have cell phones then though!)

    I went to the school, where my students (from Japan, Brazil, Korea, Mexico, Switzerland – everywhere) and I sat (in TOEFL class) listening to the news and “interpreting”. Real life discussion and context, that’s for sure. My students were as wide-eyed as I was.

    Our director closed the school at noon and I went to the local Cathedral and prayed. Then I scooped my son from school and waited for whatever was next. For us, thankfully, there was only the next day. A new day.

  3. Tara says:

    Sep 11, 2011 at 4:39 am

    Thanks for sharing your experience from the perspective of a youth. Your memory reminded me of how I felt when I watched the Oklahoma bombing footage on TV. I too remember sitting alone in my living room watching the news all day and feeling so sad.

  4. Sandy Millin says:

    Sep 10, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    I was still at school – it was my second day of sixth form (16-18 in the UK). When I got on the bus to go home, one of the boys from the year above me told us a plane had hit the Pentagon and another had hit the Twin Towers. I didn’t believe him – I thought he was joking but that it was a very odd joke. When I got home I sat by myself in the living room watching all of the news broadcasts and being really angry at the people who did it, not only for the killing, which was bad enough, but for what they had done to the world that I was soon to go out into – the changes in attitudes and the fear that it would prompt. Anger was my overwhelming feeling and I couldn’t stop crying.
    That seems like such a long time ago and the fear is still there – the world has shifted because of them.

  5. Tara says:

    Sep 10, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    That must have been a truly memorable experience. My heart goes out to all of the mothers who actually had their babies that day. It must have been a bitter sweet day to give birth. Thanks for sharing your memory.

  6. Antonia Clare says:

    Sep 10, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    I was in hospital having a baby scan, and we watched the horror on a screen in the waiting room. I remember holding my bump and wondering ‘What kind of world am I bringing this baby into?’. Memories still so vivid.


  7. seburnt says:

    Sep 09, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    It was in the evening in Seoul. I was watching an historical drama on Korean TV when it was interrupted for the breaking news. I felt like it was a movie I was watching. I was so far away from it.

    I went into the school the next morning, eager to comfort my American colleagues. Several of them hadn’t heard yet. We collectively felt stunned. We brought it up to predominantly ambivalent students. It was surreal.

    • Tara says:

      Sep 10, 2011 at 8:20 pm

      We all have such unique memories from this day. It must have been a very uncomfortable feeling to be so far from home on September 11. Many of my online students said it felt like a movie too. I think the world was “collectively stunned”. You put it so well, Ty.

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