This week I was told that things would begin to go back to normal. But what is normal? I really do not know. I thought I knew, but as it turns out, I really don’t. Life is an increasingly complex thing filled with overwhelming challenges and sensational celebrations. Unfortunately, this week proved to be one chock-full of confounding obstacles and copious amounts of stress.
If you read my previous post, you would begin to understand the catastrophic events that shattered our town and displaced hundreds of families (many of which attend the school I teach at). Overall, over 20% of our school population is now considered homeless. A shocking statistic that really has an impact on overall learning. And life.
A human’s basic needs: shelter, water, food, air, and sleep. What happens when those basic needs aren’t met? The effects are devastating. And yet, many of my students have to live with this reality almost every day… Homes- uninhabitable. Water- unusable and unflushable. Food- sparce and unfulfilling. Air- toxic, filled with the fumes of natural gas and feces. Sleep- hard to come by.
I pray for my sweet students, my children, who face these unforeseeable circumstances. I know their situations are supposed to be only temporary, but for how long? When will their lives return to normal? Or will they ever?
I can only hope that I can provide a small portion of what my students need every day- a safe place, our classroom, filled with an abundance of love and compassion. A place where ideas sparkle and magic flows, allowing learning to come to life. A place bursting with light, illuminating the pathway of hope for a better tomorrow. A place that is normal. Almost.