the reply

blogging alongside my students

About a week ago I received an e-mail in my work inbox titled: Hello.

There was a short apology, mentions of a crazy school year, and thanksgiving for our sweet letters and words of encouragement. It was very short and to the point reply to our cards.

In the beginning of September, our fifth grade class made cards to send to a fifth grade class in Texas that was affected by Hurricane Harvey. Their school was damaged by the flooding and had to move to an alternate location so the school could be renovated.  I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like to start the school year off like that.

I immediately printed out the e-mail, excited to share it with my students. Interestingly enough, our science lesson that day was on creating a plan to protect a city from hurricanes. We discussed what happened with Hurricane Katrina and how certain areas were flooded while others parts were not.

One week later, I sit here at my laptop, realizing that I didn’t respond to her e-mail.  It got lost in the flood of e-mails that I swim through daily.  I feel bad that I so easily forgot about her,  her school, and the hurricane. So easily we go through the motions daily, absorbed in our lives, and the bubble we are in.

So now it’s my turn to reply. What do I say? 


Cards made by my students


7 thoughts on “the reply

  1. mrsday75 says:

    I think you share this post with her. Tell her about the excitement of sharing her email with your kids. She’s a teacher. She’ll get it.

  2. jumpofffindwings says:

    My exact thought…MrsDay75 and I :-). I thank you for this post and the lovely art of your students. In the worst of times, we so often see the best of them. (You have inspired me to write a bit about what happens to a community devastated by a natural disaster. Many of my students experienced Superstorm Sandy. This is why a community—this community of writers, their community of Jersey Shore dwellers—matters.)

  3. Jaime M says:

    I absolutely love how your piece drove from the details to the universal. From an email to considering our responsibility as humans to support others in their times of need, even years after when the event has long passed. I especially love how you included the art from your students — those pictures bring the whole message together. Thank you so much for your post!

  4. aggiekesler says:

    I love that you and your students sent cards to students in Texas. What a wonderful gesture of kindness. The cards are just beautiful! 🙂 I agree…share this post!

  5. melody says:

    Reply with kindness and empathy, it goes a long way. Not sure what you would say though. And that last card is so cute!

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