Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sandy

Well it's been awhile, huh?  As many people are aware, much has been going on in New Jersey over the past couple weeks.  Hurricane Sandy hit on Monday, October 29th and cancelled about two weeks worth of school.  We were scheduled to go back this past Thursday, but got a snowstorm that knocked the power back out and cancelled school again for Thursday.  So Friday was the first day back in awhile.

I live in Central Jersey so I was extremely lucky.  My house lost power for a couple days, which was nothing at all compared to what happened at the shore.  Although I do not live at the beach now, I spent my four years of college living there and then five summers after that living a couple blocks away from the ocean so it's a special place to me.  It is very sad to see all of the destruction.  It's so strange to think about the fact that so many of the places that I've spent a lot of time at are now just gone.  It has been surreal watching the news and seeing the house that I lived in and places where I spent so much time.

Going back to school this past Friday felt strange.  Even the kids said it felt weird.  Last week I spent a lot of time thinking about what to do.  It didn't feel quite right going back and picking up where we left off.  On Friday I asked the kids what they thought about the things that had happened and honestly they knew that they lost power and that things were bad, but there were clueless as to the extent of what had happened.

So we watched a couple videos:





Then we looked at these before and after pictures, which are just incredible.  They do a really impressive job of showing the extent of what really happened.  I was impressed with the maturity of the kids.  For the most part, they took everything very seriously.

After discussing all of the terrible things that happened, I showed them all of the wonderful things that are happening right now.  I have been following things online, and have seriously been in awe of the amazing acts of kindness that have been happening.  Following the storm it seems as though everyone is trying to figure out how they can help other people.  Businesses have been opening their doors and offering anything they can, individual people are coming from across the country to bring donations and supplies and help, power companies from so many states are all here working to get power back on, the red cross and national guard are here, and the list really just goes on and on.

This is not at all fancy, but it's just a collection of some pictures I found and showed the kids to give them an idea.


After all of this was the sweetest part of the day.  Amongst themselves, kids started talking about wanting to help.  They weren't complaining about being in school or being tired anymore, they were talking about what kinds of things they could do to help people which is amazing.

At the end of my first period, a girl (who usually is my biggest complainer) looked at me and genuinely thanked me.  She said that she really enjoyed learning and talking about this today.

So now the question is what to do this week?  I need to get back into the swing of things, but I would love to keep this spirit of generosity going.  I also have collected some graphs and infographics that I would like to use somehow, but I need to figure out how.  I have a couple things in the works, so we'll see...

6 comments:

  1. Glad to hear you weren't too much affected directly by Sandy. I love this: "... they were talking about what kinds of things they could do to help people which is amazing." It's surviving things like this that makes us closer and stronger. Thanks for sharing, Sarah.

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    1. Thanks! It's just so amazing to see kids step up and take initiative after something like this. Since we've been back there are some really great things going on that they're doing, and something especially big coming up this week that I can't wait to share :)

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  2. I am so glad to hear that you are safe. I lurk on a lot of teacher blogs, reading about the amazing things you do, and when I realized where you were, I was very concerned. Best wishes to everyone for a full recovery!

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    1. Aw thanks :) I definitely got lucky, but it's certainly a rough time for our little state here.

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  3. Glad to hear that you took some time to discuss this with the students. When I used to teach I also felt very strongly that in times of tragedy it is important to set some time aside for discussion. In terms of things to do with the class: You could use the graphs and materials you have to create a timeline for how long recovery efforts will take at different donation amounts, you could also do analysis on how many were affected and how many volunteers would be needed to take care of each, etc. Real world applications will help tie to the students desire to help someone, and also will help in reaching learning goals. Good luck this week!

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    1. I agree, I think that when something happens it's important to talk about it with the kids so they really understand the magnitude of things. Thanks for the suggestions, those are great ideas. They are actually perfect for something exciting that is happening this week.

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