So where do teachers go when they have one week of vacation left? Apparently we head to Target to stock up on supplies.
I happened to be in Target when the earthquake hit yesterday. After we'd been asked to leave the store (actually only Target team members were asked to evacuate the store, the rest of us just figured that we should follow) I ended up standing in the parking lot with a random group of people. As time went on and we continued to try to confirm what had just happened (Earthquake? Not possible, we don't have those in Virginia!) and we got to talking we realized that all of us were teachers. I suppose it makes sense- we have supplies to buy for our classrooms and not much time left to do it. We also all had stories about the last time an earthquake hit in the area and we'd all refused to stop teaching to acknowledge the event (it was a much, much smaller quake).
My mother's school started on Monday, which meant she was well into her second day with her second graders when the earthquake hit. I cannot imagine being with a brand new class on the second day of school and trying to keep them calm during and after earthquake. They say that experiencing trauma can bring a community of people together, but there are other ways to build community in the classroom. Can you imagine those new kindergartners, not yet speaking English, scared to death because their school is shaking, with no way for their teachers to communicate what had just happened? I imagine not many would want to come back for day 3...
I think that'd be a very tricky dilemma to be confronted with.
My tip is to try some of the New Zealand teaching sites, they are often referred to as "The shaky Isles."
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