First Day At School and Teachers

First day at school for kids that survived Tropical Storm Harvey and Hurricane Irma did not happen, because most of the schools in Texas and Florida were affected by the havoc.

First day at school is either fun or full of tears.  It is relatively easy if brothers, sisters or cousins attend the same school.  School then becomes an extension of the familiar, home. 
Parents in North America and Europe also do a great job during the summer with school talk, stopping the car and showing kids the school gate, buying school uniform, supplies and backpacks.

That continuity is broken if kids are part of evacuees. Disasters such as Harvey and Irma destabilize very delicate minds.  It is painful when kids talk about how they fled their homes on their fathers’ backs or being carried to safety by volunteers.
What we don’t know is the psychological damage: fear of rivers or the sea, nightmares or kids screaming every time it rains or the wind howls.  Some kids were sent to live with friends and relatives and that is where they experienced their first day at school.  They had to contend with difficult questions like where they are from, their accents and why they are in another state.

A lot of repair work will be done and teachers will be part of the healing process.  They are under-appreciated and under-paid although they are parents to 20 kids between 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. depending on the school hours.
By:  Nonqaba waka Msimang.


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