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Hurricane Harvey: Who Will Care For the Teachers?

Tuesday morning was just like any morning except on this particular Tuesday morning Hurricane Harvey had made landfall on the the coast of Texas. After a night of pouring rain I went outside to make sure that the trenches that my son and I dug to help the water drain were working. After being outside for a while I immediately noticed that the there were huge gusts of wind. I looked up at the tree tops of the pine trees swaying in the wind and decided to go live on Facebook to talk about the possibility of one of the trees falling.

My dog Sam follows me everywhere I go, so as usual while I sat on the couch he was lying on the living room floor. Not long after I sat down on the couch Sam’s ears perked up and I heard a cracking noise. I jumped up off of the couch and ran to the front door. When I reached the front door I turned around and a large pine tree branch crashed through the ceiling. The tree didn’t immediately fall so I turned around to see what was going to happen. I don’t know why I stopped at the front door but that moment will be forever etched into my memory.

On the Road to Recovery

I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t sure how I was going to get the pine tree off of my house. It had been on my house for 2 days and the weight of the tree had begun to put more stress on the frame of the house. The city of Houston was a disaster and all of the entrances to my neighborhood were flooded. Well to make a long story short my mechanic (of all people) volunteered to cut this 50 ft. pine tree. The tree cutting began with 2 men and ended with 6. By 6 pm the tree had finally been cut in half and taken off of my house. Knowing that the tree was off of the house gave me a sense of relief.

While scrolling down my Facebook timeline I came across this article by US News “Houston Schools Chief: Many Students Will Lose Everything” This headline immediately made me feel like nobody cared about what was happening to teachers.  For the first time I felt like going back to work may not be an option because with everything that was going on I felt like I was one loop short of fruit loop.

Going Back to Work

The first day of school was supposed to be August 28th two days after Hurricane Harvey made landfall. That date has come and gone and the start date is now Sept. 11th. Teachers across Texas are hurting and it seems as if nobody is asking about the teachers. In addition to my home life being in shambles my school was damaged by the storm so I don’t even know where I’ll be working. My stress levels are already high because I will have to move out of my house and I’m going back to a classroom to deal with students who may have lost everything.

I don’t want to sound like what my students are going through isn’t important but I’m a person too. My question is “Who will care for the teachers?” I’m very fortunate to have educator friends and a teacher union who cares about teachers. Hurricane Harvey has left Texas in a state of devastation and shock. Setting a start date for school can’t be the sole focus of the school district. School districts have to take care of their teachers too!

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