Kevin Dougherty is our Director of Business Development at Thinking Maps and represents TMI in Texas. As an educator and resident of Texas for many years, this message is very close to his heart.
Hurricane Harvey’s historic levels of rainfall and resulting floods have already impacted thousands of Texas residents. The effects of this massive tragedy include lost lives, homes, businesses, schools, places of worship, vehicles and other material possessions, as well as a sense of security. Families have been displaced. Many of them are struggling with feelings of relief regarding their removal from flooded areas mixed with feelings of loss and anxiety as they now face their uncertain future.
As with any dark clouds, like those that covered southeast Texas for several days, there has been a welcome silver lining to this tragedy. This silver lining has come largely in the form of first responders, including hundreds (if not thousands) of volunteers, who came to the assistance of their fellow Texans who were trapped and suffering other hardships due to the flooding. The tejas spirit also spread beyond the borders of Texas as first responders from throughout the country rushed to the Lone Star state to render additional aide. This tragic situation brought out the best in humanity. People helping people.
While many students in affected areas are not in school at this time, when they do return to their classrooms these experiences will be at the forefront of their thinking. There is certain to be an impact on each student’s Frame of Reference which will influence their future learning as well. I imagine this impact will be readily acknowledged by educators in the area, many of whom will have shared an experience similar to that of the students they serve. May the hardships experienced lead to greater levels of perseverance, strength, and wisdom for these students and teachers.
Many of the impacted districts, including some parishes in nearby Louisiana, enjoy various levels of Thinking Maps implementation to support the thinking, learning, and achievement of the students they serve. To all of these districts with which we have been partnering, we look forward to visiting with you when the flood waters subside and to offering whatever assistance we can as you work to get back to the business of educating your students.