May 12, 2016

Ohhh...this is why I do my job

I'm very glad I posted this a few weeks ago talking about why it's hard to work as a military wife and why I keep doing it, even when it's stressful and not military-friendly as an occupation.

But a few weekends ago, I realized why I do what I do.

A parent painted this for my classroom door.

I went to a school district event a few weeks ago and talked with coworkers from this year and last, and I saw some of my students from last year. I got to witness how much they'd grown and what they'd accomplished since last spring. They're a wonderful bunch of kids. A tie for the best class I ever had (the best being the group of 2011-2012 in Alaska).

For a few hours, I was part of my own little community.  And I might argue that I kind of have that
every day, but I think the feel of it gets lost when I'm constantly being accosted by 27+ students.

It can be very difficult to forge out an identity when you're a military wife. You pick up, you leave, you plant yourself in a new place, you get somewhat comfortable, and then you pick up and leave again.

And we can add in the fact that, for many military wives, meeting new people and doing new things is always on the bottom of the list of fun stuff to do. We miss the people we used to be stationed with...or the people from our hometowns. It's hard to start over, right?

However, I'm realizing that it's not like that when it's related to my job. I've embraced each school, each opportunity, and each group of kids. The best friends I have here ARE coworkers. I have military acquaintances, but I have friends who know me as Kristin, and not just as Scott's wife. Plus, military wives can get oddly competitive. Teachers aren't really like that. I can't control Scott's job. I can work hard at the complexities of my own though.

All in all, I keep at this because I enjoy having a community and network that's not reliant on the military. And obviously I would support and follow Scott anywhere and try to create a purpose for myself in that place. This isn't about that; it's about doing something to occupy and better myself while he's not here. A wise army wife once told me to not expect my husband to entertain me when he gets home from work/deployment. Something for me, created by me, is necessary.

And my favorite part of teaching is seeing the kids AFTER I have them just to see how they turned out.

Well, that's my favorite part after the buying of school supplies in August. It's hard to beat that.

I think "once a teacher, always a teacher" factors in here. It's all I ever wanted to do, so I'd have a tough time not at least trying to do this every day.


  1. I always love seeing my past students and where they are now. I get to work with my students almost every year (since I do speech therapy), but it's cool to see them "graduate" from speech and then randomly see them in the hallways and such and see how much they've improved!

  2. On the flip side, I adore seeing my old teachers - even as an adult.

  3. I read somewhere that once you figure out the why of what you do, it makes you become that much better at it (or something like that. I'm probably butchering the paraphrasing).

  4. That's a pretty dang good door mural!

    I think the best teachers are the ones that always knew they wanted to teach, love teaching (even when it sucks) and can't see themselves doing anything else. I mean, I guess that's kind of a "well, duh" statement, but I really admire the work you guys do. Having a sister that's a teacher, I see first hand both the joys and immense frustrations of the job, and I just think you guys are the best :)

  5. I am loving that mural, it's pretty awesome.

  6. My mother is a retired elementary school teacher. She is one of the few people that I can say was born to do the job that she did. I'm still in awe of her skills in the classroom. Even now, I talked to her just this week about my stepson taking his first statewide standardized test. My mother went into teacher-mode and gave so much insight. I will always applaud the teachers that are good at what they do. It sounds cliché and cheesy, but teachers CAN truly make a difference in a child's life.

  7. One of my favorite things about teaching (certainly after buying school supplies, of course) is seeing my kids grow up! It's been one of the things I've enjoyed most about moving to 6th grade from 1st. I've had a chance to teach students I already had before. I'm interested to see what it will be like to teach a completely new class again (I still have two groups to go before that happens). I wonder if I'll still love 6th grade as much!


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