On WNYC's SchoolBook Blog, New York City math teacher José Vilson has a nice post-Hurricane Sandy reflection on schools' often-under-appreciated role as the hub of community. This derives in part, he suggests, from teachers' implicit sense of commitment:
As educators, we are charged with helping our children feel that, as wild as the world may seem, we will pull through. Parents, children, and other invested adults seek asylum in our schools because of our routines, the familiarity, and the dulcet vibrations of the students' yells, whispers and laughter. The teachers start their classes with their usual routines. The deans remind students of the rules in the hallway as they walk to class. The principals address as many classes as possible about academics and general minutiae. ... Turmoil always brings a high tide but as things return to a more normal rhythm my students know that I'll be waiting for them at classroom door at 8 a.m. with a "Good morning!" and a "Do Now."
But read the whole thing.