Dear Teacher: Dealing with the Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey


Hurricane Harvey left an indelible mark on countless communities and the lives of many people in Texas in August 2017. The hurricane, which was one of the most devastating natural disasters in US history, not only caused enormous destruction to properties but also impacted numerous schools and the lives of students, teachers, and families. As a teacher facing the aftermath of such a catastrophe, it is essential to find ways to help your students cope with their new realities and foster resilience in the school community.

Understanding The Impact

The first step to dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey is understanding the impact it had on your students’ lives. Many have lost their homes or possessions; some have been displaced or had their routines altered significantly. This disruption can manifest itself in different ways such as emotional distress, anxiety, or even regressive behavior.

Creating A Safe Environment

Now more than ever, it is crucial to establish a safe, supportive environment in your classroom. Encourage open communication and allow students to express their feelings or share their experiences concerning the hurricane. Some may be hesitant to talk; however, respecting their privacy while letting them know that you are there when they need you can go a long way.

Incorporating Creative Healing Techniques

Using creative approaches can help your students process their emotions and build resilience effectively. Encourage writing activities like journaling, poetry, or storytelling as a form of emotional support. Art can also play a therapeutic role through drawing, painting, or creating sculptures inspired by their experiences during Hurricane Harvey.

Offering Academic Flexibility

As students recover from the disruption caused by Hurricane Harvey, focus on rebuilding structure while also maintaining academic flexibility. If needed, adjust deadlines and assignments according to individual student needs so that they don’t feel overwhelmed by academic pressures during this challenging time.

Collaborating With Other Professionals And Community Resources

Working with other professionals like counselors, psychologists, or social workers can provide additional support to your students. Collaborate with these experts to create a holistic approach in helping your students cope with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Furthermore, consider partnering with local community resources to offer aid and services that may be beneficial for students’ well-being.


In the wake of a disaster like Hurricane Harvey, teachers play an essential role in providing support, stability, and care for their students. By understanding the impact of the disaster, creating a safe environment for your students, incorporating creative healing techniques, offering academic flexibility, and collaborating with professionals and community resources, you can make a positive difference in your students’ lives as they continue to recover and rebuild their lives after the storm.

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