“Losing my classroom was like losing my second home”

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HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn (WDEF) – It’s been almost a month since a series of tornadoes swept through Hamilton County.

And  clean up is still going on across much of our area, including in a local elementary school.

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May 4th through May 8th is teacher appreciation week, but for most it doesn’t feel the same since being out of school.

Teachers of East Brainerd Elementary were already working from home when the Easter Sunday Tornadoes destroyed their school and classrooms.

These teachers say losing their classrooms means losing so much more than a building- it’s losing their second home and a safe place for learning and growing students. 

“When they walk into that room, for them to know that this is safe and this is where I can be myself. I get to learn and grow here.  To just have all of that taken away from you in less than a minute is really hard to wrap your mind around,” says Logan Betts, 3rd Grade Teacher at EBE.

5th Grade teacher, Mary Markel says that little did they know  they would be living out one of their theme words for the year.

“Perseverance has been one of our theme words this year in 5th grade. For this, I think you have to show perseverance. No matter what the tough situation is, this is a tough situation, that we can get through it,” says Mary Markel, 5th Grade Teacher at EBE.

3rd Grade Teacher, Leigh Grady says East Brainerd Elementary is strong and they will come back stronger from this.

“I love East Brainerd Elementary School. I have been here for four years. This is my home. My teammates are my family and we will be coming back stronger, you better watch out,” says Leigh Grady, 3rd Grade teacher at EBE.

The teachers say that they are unsure about the rebuilding process at this time and are anxiously waiting to hear about the plans for the fall of 2020.

Until then, they can be sure of one thing, that the community has an even greater appreciation this year for teachers and all that they do.