Derecho and a World of TBD
My blog was supposed to be about Learning Pods (stay tuned) but the Midwestern derecho literally blew me over as well. For anyone unfamiliar, a 70-mile swath of Iowa and Illinois were hit with hurricane level winds called a derecho. Winds of up to 120 miles an hour, with rain, laid a path of destruction that is hard to fathom. Homes destroyed, trees uprooted and flying, crops pummeled.
Our old hometown of Cedar Rapids was hit hard. Two of the high schools have mammoth damage. The roof of Kennedy High School was blown off, followed by water damage. The school district reports that all schools have damage, to varying degrees. The town is a sea of destruction. Normally you can drive out of the destruction area. Not this time. Power is still out in some areas, eight days in, making food and prescription drug storage difficult.
Because life in a pandemic wasn’t just quite hard enough. The playbook had to get even tougher. Staying in, staying safe, when that home front is now torn apart. Rescue efforts following COVID guidelines. Hoping volunteers will bravely travel from out of state to assist. It’s another layer of stress on a stressed-out system.
Cedar Rapids survived the flood of 2008 and they will survive the derecho.
I kept thinking about the teachers and kids getting ready for the start of school. At least in Cedar Rapids, that date is now TBD. Our teachers are living in a world of TBD. How to teach both children in the class and virtual students simultaneously, and effectively? How to engage elementary school student online for over 5 minutes? How to make up for the all-important social elements of a classroom experience? Has anyone got any lessons learned yet? And now, another walloping element.
We know the students lost their classroom in multiple ways. One is the physical classroom they were hoping to see again. One is the new one created at home, maybe at a kitchen table or a cleared- out corner. Parents and teachers will be helping students of all ages cope with the fears they are experiencing. No easy answers. But plenty of TBD.