Lessons from a Flooded Preschool Classroom

Funny lesson last week, while I was enjoying my vacation with Belinda: I’m not in control! Here’s what happened.

Belinda and I were reading when I received a phone call from school (it was spring break). Apparently my classroom had been flooded by burst pipes, leaving 12 inches of water on the floor. Another teacher – going to the basement, where my classroom is located – had noticed Chester the Gerbil’s food floating which had given her a clue. (After alerting authorities, she waded into my classroom to rescue him. He’s living with the Kindergartners on 1st floor for now!)

If you’re a teacher, you know how concerned I was. And if you’re a preschool or kindergarten teacher, you know my feelings bordered on frantic. Nearly everything I use – books, stuffed animals, flash cards – is stashed a foot or 2 off the floor, to be within reach of little ones. Yikes!

Being out of town I was not able to run over and check things out. And by the time I returned home, the building was locked down and no one was being allowed in.

Today I am in the state of not knowing. The insurance and restoration companies are in control. I am not sure what will be saved, what has been damaged and what needs to be thrown out.

I simply do not have control! I credit years of Centering Prayer practice with my calm (even though I’ve had a few moments of panic). I am putting my trust in God and in those tasked with the clean up.

At some point I will have to try to replace items that have been lost and say good bye to items that are unable to be saved.

It has been a good lesson for me. It reminds me that I am not in control of what happens now … or may happen sometime later … and that is OK. I am so very thankful God and my Benedictine community (who have been very supportive in the whole matter and willing to help as they are able) are there for me though it all. Thank God.

I will help the preschoolers see this as a good lesson, as well. We still have everything that is important in life: each other, Chester, and God.

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