If you haven’t heard about the flooding in Thailand, here’s a link you should check out.
I’ve got a student from Thailand whose family was affected by the flooding. They lost everything. Tonight, after class, she asked me, “How can my family lose everything in one day?” Because of her visa, she can’t go back home, not that she has a home to go back to. My heart breaks for her. I can’t even imagine what it must be like to be separated from your family at a time like this. And to have to focus on classes when your mind is clearly thousands of miles away.
She told me how frustrated she was that she can’t do anything. I find myself feeling pretty frustrated too. I wish I could do something for her, but I can’t. I have to keep teaching because there aren’t any floods here, because the other students aren’t dealing with the loss of their homes and concern for their families.
So, I guess I’m wondering what to do with a student who, quite understandably, isn’t exactly going to be on top of her game in class. How do I, as a concerned human being, show my support while still, as a teacher, maintaining my academic expectations for her? Has anyone written a book on what to do when someone’s world falls apart? Will anyone share that book with me, please?