To the Editor:
I have just finished reading the transcript of your Sept. 7, 2005, online chat about Hurricane Katrina’s effects on schools and students (“Hurricane Katrina: Effect on Schools and Students,”Chat, Sept. 7, 2005). The offers of help are tremendous.
I teach in the DeSoto County school district in northwest Mississippi. We have enrolled many additional children as a result of Hurricane Katrina. I do not speak for the district office, but, in my opinion, our greatest need is for funding for additional teachers. We have received an outpouring of materials, supplies, and love. What we really need are more teachers.
In the classroom, we have allowed these displaced children to share their experiences through class discussions, journal writing, and one-on-one conversation. Our first priority should be to make them feel comfortable and safe, no matter their age. Then we must move on to the task of educating all the students in our classes while maintaining that kind of environment.
A version of this article appeared in the September 28, 2005 edition of Education Week as In the Hurricane’s Wake, the Need Is for Teachers