Excerpted from Dreaming Too Loud, the story of the head teacher who would send new teachers this letter:
I’m a survivor of a concentration camp. My eyes saw what no man should witness: gas chambers built by learned engineers, children poisoned by educated physicians and infants killed by trained nurses. Women and babies shot and burnt by high school and college graduates. So I’m suspicious of education.
My request is: help your students become human. Your efforts must never produce learned monsters, skilled psychopaths, educated Eichmanns. Reading, writing, arithmetic are important, but only if they serve to make our children more human.
And that’s why we find beautiful, meaningful, insightful and even sometimes disturbing picture books to read to children – young and old. Especially ‘war’ books.
The children I meet have no personal experience of war – I hope they never do – but we all need to learn the lessons war teaches. Picture books are one of many ways to learn without experiencing - they help to make us all more human.
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