How Can We Support Families Living Through Disasters?
Happy new year! Each year I reflect on all that is good in the world. I also ponder on what I can improve upon and how I can approach each day with integrity that contributes to improving the lives around me. As an educator, I find that I am most happy when I am helping a child learn a new skill. A child’s look of satisfaction and achievement is all I need as the payoff for teaching and nurturing success.
Coping with Community Disasters
As a community member, I am challenged on how I can best respond to the multitude of disasters surrounding our communities. As a California resident, we have suffered through horrific wild fires. Other parts of our country have struggled with tornadoes, hurricanes, and flooding. Our communities continue to be challenged with poverty, homelessness, and various injustices.
How Can We Support Children and Families in Disasters?
With the start of a new year as an educator and responsible community member, I want to refocus my efforts on how I can best serve my students, their families, and the larger community as my time and energies are limited. Today, I am reflecting on the following questions:
- What are the most important insights that I can impart on students and their families this coming year so that they feel safe and secure in a world that is challenged with disasters and injustices?
- How do I live my best life daily with my family, students, and my community?
- What should I change in my life so I can live simply?
- Are there areas in my life I need to prioritize?
- Which service projects or volunteer activities would best serve my community?
- What special skills do I have that would best benefit the needs in my community?
- Should the GenParenting bloggers refocus the parenting blogs and workshops to support different needs?
- What are the most important values I want to share with students and families?
- At the end of the day, what is my primary purpose in life?
- How can I best help my community with limited time and resources?
- Is there something I have not thought about that would benefit you through our trainings, blogs, and services?
Give Us Feedback for Disaster Support
As I ponder these questions, I encourage you to write to us in the comments section with your ideas and suggestions. What we can do to support your own personal growth and the healthy development of your family and community? What is working and what can we do differently? Thank you for your ongoing support of this blog and best wishes for a fulfilling and serene 2019!
With love and care,
Mary Ann Burke, Ed.D., Digital Education Expert, is a substitute distance learning teacher for Oak Grove School District in San Jose, California and the author of STUDENT-ENGAGED ASSESSMENT: Strategies to Empower All Learners (Rowman & Littlefield: 2020). Dr. Burke creates digital language arts and substitute teaching K – 12 activities for teachers and parents. She is the Cofounder of the Genparenting.com blog. Burke is the former Director II of Categorical & Special Projects for the Santa Clara County Office of Education that supports 31 school districts serving 272,321 students in Santa Clara County. She is also a previous Director – State & Federal Compliance for Oakland Unified School District, the former Director – Grantwriter for the Compton Unified School District, and was the initial VISTA Director for the Community Partnership Coalition in southern California. Much of her work focuses on creating innovative digital trainings and partnership programs for teachers and families to support students’ learning. These programs were featured as a best practice at a National Title I Conference, California’s Title I Conferences, AERA Conferences, an ASCD Conference, the NASSP Conference, and statewide educator conferences.