Home > General > The Day of the Tornadoes April 27, 2011

The Day of the Tornadoes April 27, 2011

I’m sure that many of you who follow me on Twitter already know about the devastation that reached our county yesterday.  We were warned, but I don’t think anyone really knew the destruction that was coming.  My family and home were spared.  We are truly blessed.  Other than a night spent in the basement and some minor roof damage, we are fine.  My school system and county were not so fortunate.  The photos and stories are beginning to come in via Facebook and texts.  I know of several of our students who have lost homes.  We lost two elementary schools that will not reopen this year.  We won’t have school the rest of this week.  They are meeting today to plan when to reopen. 

As I sit and try to plan the last few weeks of school, I wonder:  How do you continue?  When I face my students who have experienced tragedy, how and why do I teach them Parametric Equations?  I only have a week left with my Seniors before graduation and two weeks with my Juniors and Sophomores.  I don’t think I can cram in the last few weeks of topics in any way that will make them care.  I know other schools have suffered tragedies.  How do those teachers return to classes and some standard of normal?

Categories: General
  1. Amy Gruen
    April 28, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    Amber, I am so sorry that this has happened. I have some idea what you are going through, as our community was struck by a tornado in the summer of 2008. My home was fine, but some students lost their homes and all the schools in our district were destroyed. Since the tornado was during the summer, we weren’t in school during the time of the initial shock. By the time school started in temporary facilities that fall, things felt as normal as possible. You will get through this, even though it doesn’t seem like it right now. If you have any questions, I would be happy to help in any way that I can. Amy

    • April 30, 2011 at 2:47 am

      Amy, Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m finding that people, including me, just want to share their stories and have someone listen. I’ve had a few students contact me that just want someone to listen. Administration decided to give everyone another week off to get everything settled. Several elementary schools are not useable. I think this will give students and teachers time to absorb everything and not have to focus on work right away. I’m sure when we head back the students might need some routine back in their lives.

  2. christina Demonbreun
    April 29, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    Although I have not personally gone through anything like this, I too, am a teacher, and wonder how I would handle it. I teach elementary school, but honestly, the way I think I would handle it, is to let them see you cry. Cry with them. They just need to know that you feel so sad for all the loss and that you are human, too. I think sometimes trying to act strong doesn’t work with kids. They need you to know that you understand somewhat and the only way is to show true emotions, the real you.

    • April 30, 2011 at 2:48 am

      Christina, I agree with you. I have encountered some adults that just need a chance to cry and share their feelings. I think as teachers it is important for students to see us as real people. Thanks for the reminder and the comment. It definitly helps.

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