Mr. Nussen, a Global History teacher at Oceanside High School, is a dedicated teacher who emphasizes the importance of teaching students history. As a New Yorker, Mr. Nussen feels passionately about the September 11th World Trade Center tragedy and constantly works to fully engage his students in his lessons surrounding the attack. Nussen wants his students to not just listen, but become immersed in conversation to make sure they truly comprehend the extreme damaging effects this event had on our country. Nussen explained why it’s so important to him that his students learn from this event, “In an often divided country and world, I hope that New York will continue to be an example of a place where despite obvious religious, physical, and political differences, we respect and embrace the collective culture of New York. As I hope my students learn from my 9/11 unit, we are a city that will continue to honor, remember, and learn.”.
Mr.Nussen starts off his lesson by utilizing his own personal experience and connecting himself to the tragedy. By discussing with his students his own personal involvement as an Emergency Medical Technician at the rescue and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center, he is able to not only give his students first hand accounts but also illustrate how many were affected by this attack.
Mr.Nussen’s dedication and hard work doesn’t go unnoticed, he has recently been recognized by the 9/11 Tribute Center as an honorable teacher. Mr. Nussen was invited to attend a ceremony where he and other influential teachers were awarded for all they do. The ceremony was said to be “intimate and memorable” by Mr. Nussen and he had the opportunity to speak about himself, as well as to listen to other talented and passionate teachers and their own stories and methods. The tribute center is awarding Mr.Nussen with prize money which will be given to Oceanside High School. Right now it is not certain where the money will be spent. Mr.Nussen is hopeful that he will be able to use the reward to send his 10th grade students to the 9/11 Memorial Museum so they can gain an even better understanding of the tragedy.
As time distances people from any event it will always become increasingly more difficult to make direct connections and have students really engage themselves into the history they are learning. Mr. Nussen says despite the challenges, “I believe in our Social Studies department. We continue to create and use fascinating ways to ensure that all history will be remembered and respected.” .