Monday, September 9, 2019

Hurricane Dorian

Last week we experienced Hurricane Dorian. It decimated the Bahamas and caused havoc along the east coast of the United States. Some people were killed, and many lost their homes. For a week we followed the hurricane’s path and progress as it traveled along its path.

Preparing for the hurricane and dealing with its aftermath can cause a lot of emotional trauma to our students.

Older children may have lost things that were valuable to them but may seem insignificant to others. Worrying about their family, their homes, their belongings, and how they are going to survive with the losses may weigh heavy on their minds. They may not feel comfortable telling others what they may need.

Younger children may not understand what is going on but they will pick up on the emotions of their family and others. This sense of uncertainty and emotional trauma may scare them and make them feel very insecure. Many times they won’t be able to tell others how they are feeling or what they need.

Sometimes the students and their family may not have been directly impacted but maybe distant family members have been affected. This, in turn, may affect their own living conditions or financial situation if they are helping the family members that were impacted.

As teachers, we need to realize that some behavior issues may develop from this situation. The students may not tell you what they want or need and feel frustrated that others don’t know what they want or need. Students may feel anxious and even angry about the circumstances. Some may not even understand why they are feeling this way.

I think this would be a good time to have a discussion about this. These may be possible questions to start the conversation.

·      Have you or someone you know been impacted by the hurricane?
·      Would you like to share how they were affected?
·      How is this affecting you and your family?
·      How does this make you feel?

What other questions would you ask? How do you deal with natural disasters and their effect on your students?  Please share.

Photo by John Middelkoop on Unsplash

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