Teaching Gratefulness and Compassion

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Routine took a vacation last week. I experienced a “Snow-Day” thanks to an unusual wind/rain storm that hit the Northeast with a few inches of rain and winds as high as 50 mph. We had to cancel school due to impassable roads and we joined the scores of other schools  in New Hampshire with similar travails. It was a detour from the beautiful fall we’ve been experiencing. 


Not only did I wake up to no power but I had three inches of water in my basement and no hot water. I have great appreciation for my multi-talented and generous brother-in-law, for we we able to deal with the water issues early on. Thus, I was given the gift that every school administrator longs for… a catch up paperwork day free from meetings. It was also a very small reminder of what friends and colleagues across the country are dealing with after storms in Texas and Florida. My friend and fellow Principal Rita hails from Houston, she lost nearly everything in her home as the result of the hurricane and she and her husband are currently living with a friend while their house gets back in shape. Rita also has a very positive outlook on it all and is much more concerned with the plight of her hundreds of students than she is with her own predicament. 


One of our Harold Martin teachers linked our schools up with a teacher named Jennifer from Orangefield, Texas and we adopted her classroom which lost nearly everything in that hurricane. Jennifer writes:


Things have been crazy on this end. We have not been able to go back to our school. Walls, floors, cabinets have all been ripped out. All of our Elementary students have been moved to the junior high campus. Our books, supplies and anything that survived the flood is boxed up at the Elementary campus and they just allowed us to go back and grab a few things to teach with a couple of weeks ago. My classroom is in the jr. high computer lab. We are working with limited supplies and no books! We do all our lessons via teacher computer. It works but surely not ideal. I am one of the lucky ones because I have my own room. Some classes are doubled up in the lab, library, art room, etc. My kids are resilient. They are doing great. Many living in campers in front of their flooded out homes. I had one student who was very excited that they finally got air conditioning and were going to make a trip to the furniture store and would be able to move back into their home this weekend!!! I would like to thank you and your school from the bottom of my heart for your kindness. We are truly blessed.


Thanks to the generosity of the Hopkinton community, we have raised nearly $600 thus far for our colleague Jennifer and her students. I also hope our students felt grateful for their own situation and compassion for those who have experienced loss. 


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