Life feels back to normal at Evergreen School after being closed for Hurricane Sandy. We are so fortunate that the storm left the DC area unscathed. Children came into school today ready for the predictability of our routine. We quickly regained equilibrium. Teachers told me that there were no discussions of the recent storm in circle time nor were there conversations on the playground or at lunch. I appreciate our parents’ care shielding their young children from media images and news reports. Pictures of burning homes or waterlogged streets can be disturbing to old and young alike.
The lack of discussion of the hurricane doesn’t mean children have not been affected. Some children may have relatives in New York or New Jersey. Some may have anxiety about another storm. Children are deeply aware of stress in the adults who surround them. Please be ready to talk to your child about the storm. Let them know that being prepared is the key to safety. Fire drills, tornado procedures and our emergency plans are in place to ensure that we are safe at Evergreen. Most of all listen to their worries and reassure them with love.
Please speak to your child’s teacher if he or she seems worried, too. It helps us so much to have insight into what you are seeing at home. We can also point to additional resources to support your child. I am so glad that everyone in our community is safe– let’s not wait until Thanksgiving to appreciate all of our blessings every day.
John DeMarchi is Head of School at Evergreen School, a Montessori program for children age 2 to grade 3 in Silver Spring, MD.