I recorded this episode at the end of a historic winter storm in Texas. This week, we faced record-low temperatures for several days and our state’s electric grid operator lost power supply control. Other power sources failed as well and soon, almost everyone I knew in Texas was without water. Many were without heat or water and living through multiple days of freezing temperatures.
You can listen to the show right here:
Our family was fortunate. We went without water for several days but this was nothing compared to what others have suffered through this crisis. Family and friends are dealing with ruptured water pipes inside their homes. People were scrounging for firewood and some resorted to burning their furniture. Stores were closed or out of food. A nursing home in our area had to evacuate 500 residents when they had no power or water. Roads were too dangerous to make attempts to leave.
Despite the threat of CoVid, we took in different friends and their pets. We felt fortunate to be able to offer shelter but everyone in our full house felt helpless and distraught as each day brought news of more winter storm-related deaths in our area.
Want to help Texas winter storm victims? Here are things you can do.
In this episode, I reflect on the fact that my situation was a minor inconvenience compared to the hardship of others. My thoughts turned not only to the Texans living through this nightmare but also to the students that I have served over the years.
As I thought about the refugee families in our area, I remembered how they weathered another tragedy we faced in Houston a few years ago. That storm, Hurricane Harvey, also caught the attention of people around the world. This blogpost offers my reflections from that experience. That post offers a perspective on teaching refugees and immigrants after such a terrible event.
Thank you again to Rola Tibshirani (@Rolat) & Dora DeBora (@DoDeBoer1) for guiding your students to reach out to us.
Similar questions come up as we face this new disaster. As educators, many of us wonder how we are supposed to support our students during a time like this.
How are we supposed to get through this blizzard?
How are we supposed to get through this pandemic?
How are we supposed to get through this horrific school year?
You’ll hear me talk about:
- Community & Collaboration
At one point, I posted on Facebook that we were melting snow for water. A refugee family in our area, who have seen unimaginable hardships, reached out to offer to bring us water. We refused this kind offer, but it goes to the heart of community. A few years ago so many refugees came to our area and we did not know how to help them. Now they are helping us.
As an educator, I lift you up because I know your job is incredibly difficult.
I honor your efforts and I ask that you challenge yourself to look forward. When you are not sure how to help a student with low levels of English or literacy due to lack of opportunity, remember that they are not dealing with a disability. Focus on making SLIFE feel safe and included. Make them comfortable so that their assets begin to be revealed.
I feel strongly that cooperative learning is our best bet to build confidence, relationships, and competence. I have been quoting Cohan, Honigsfeld & Dove (2020) in recent workshops along with Vygotsky and other authorities on the power of teaming up and being social.
I saw so many parallels this week. I watched my community, my city, and the world come together to help us move forward.
We are always better together.
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Comment here or reach out on Twitter or Facebook. You can also email me at email@example.com
Thank you for stopping by.