Hard to Say Goodbye by Krista Boivie

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When I became a teacher, I thought I would teach for only one year. One year became twelve.  At the end of this school year, I will officially close out my tenure as a professional educator. This fall, I will be enrolled full-time at Texas A&M University in College Station, working on my Master's Degree in Human Resource Management.  The program is three semesters, and I'm slated to graduate in December 2019.

I've been getting a LOT of questions about my decision, so I thought the best way would be to address some of them here.

Why am I leaving and why human resources?

For years I have thought about getting a degree that would have me transition to the corporate world.   In fact, it is rare that I read a history book, but I am always reading business or business psychology books.  My library is riddled with the works of Daniel Pink, Adam Grant, Malcolm Gladwell, etc. 

It is daunting to leave an established profession, and I felt that my skillset in education most aligns with a career in HR and this transition would be somewhat easier.

To be honest, I don't know if I will love HR, but I do know that I strive to be excellent in all my endeavors.  Like every profession, there will be things that I love and hate about my work, but I am ready to be challenged in a new way.

On the more practical side,  I am at the top end of a profession that has low-pay and terrible benefits.  I also work in an area where the cost of living is increasing much faster than my wages.  Instead of working the four different side-hustles I have going (consulting, coaching, tutoring, curriculum design), I would just like to work on one job.  In the corporate world, my starting salary will be where my current salary sits.  To make more money in education, I would need to leave the classroom to become a full-time administrator and administrators deal with the parts of the job I hate the most.  

The timing for me getting into the HR Management program couldn't be better.  I'm leaving my field at the height of my experience.  This has been a fantastic year teaching, and I've been lucky to get to work with a fabulous co-teacher, I have a great group of students, and my Academic Decathlon team had its highest performing season.  

I really am walking away at a beautiful moment as difficult as it is to say goodbye.

What will I miss the most? 

First and foremost, it is the kids.  One of the primary reasons I became a teacher, was because I couldn't have children of my own and I wanted to have some influence on the next generation.  My students inspire, challenge and frustrate me--but ultimately they have taught me more about myself than anything I've ever done before.  

Every experience, every country, every new person I have met since 2006 I have asked myself, how can I use this experience with my students. It will be weird to learn further information without the end game of transferring that knowledge to my students.  

Not too far behind the students, I will miss my colleagues.  They have helped keep me sane and inspired me by their teaching and their devotion to the students.  They are incredible people. The state of education in our country might be in a state of crisis, but I have every confidence in the people currently working in education, and I will continue to passionately fight for public school educators and for my dear friends who are fighting the good fight in the classroom every single day.

The hardest part of all this is not just saying goodbye to my current group of students,  but I'm also saying goodbye to all the students that I'll never get to teach.  

To all my current and former students, thank you.  You changed my life, and I will never forget you.

My teaching career in numbers:

  • Five high schools (One new school opened)
  • Two different school districts (Clark County & Frisco)
  • Five principals (Seven appraisers)
  • Four different grade levels
  • Three Certifications (National Board Teaching Certification, Social Studies Composite in both Texas and Nevada)
  • One Master's Degree (MEd in Curriculum and Instruction)
  • 17 different classes taught (U.S. History, Broadcast Journalism I, II, & III, Publications, Yearbook, AP World History, World History, Honors World History, Honors Government, AVID, AP Human Geography, World Geography, AP U.S. History, Gifted & Talented Humanities, Academic Decathlon, Sociology)
  • Taught approximately 2000 students
  • Leadership roles: Department Head and Instructional Coach
  • Eight clubs Sponsored 
  • Hundreds of hours of Professional Development I've both presented and attended
  • Coached two successful Academic Decathlon teams to State competition
  • Awarded study fellowships and study tours to Turkey, Germany, Jordan, U.A.E., and Oman
  • 2018 Finalist for Reedy High School Teacher of the Year

 

Glorious Oman by Krista Boivie

I don't love traveling--I enjoy visiting foreign countries, but I detest the process of getting to the destination. That's why, when a friend selected me to join a small group of teachers on a study tour to Oman, I nearly said no.  One part of me wanted to go on the trip, knowing full-well that the instant I got there, I would be happy I came--but a much bigger part of me just wanted to enjoy my winter break at home.  Of course, the adventurous side of me won, and I went to Oman in December.  I am so glad I did.  

Oman was a revelation.

As a seasoned traveler, it is easy to become complacent and think you "know it all."  My trip to Oman was the fifth time I'd traveled to the Middle East, and I was confident that Oman would feel like the other countries I'd visited.

I've never experienced love at first sight, but I think I understand the concept better because, after one day in Oman, I was in love. The country is a beautiful juxtaposition of tradition and modernity.  They fully embrace globalization and outsiders, while still managing to retain the cultural elements that make them unique.  Coupled with the fact that they won the geographic jackpot for the region--gorgeous mountains and lots of water--making it a picturesque location.

As a Humanities / World History teacher, I love to see how countries blend their history and culture.  Oman set the bar high.  Almost everywhere you can find the blending of Islamic Art and Architectural styles from throughout Afro-Eurasia.  Nothing was left to chance--even doors and lampposts showed a thoughtful display of design. 

Instead of talking about Oman, I will just show you. 

 Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

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 largest chandelier in the world @ Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

largest chandelier in the world @ Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

 Our guide at the mosque

Our guide at the mosque

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 view from Nizwa Fort

view from Nizwa Fort

 Performers at Nizwa Fort

Performers at Nizwa Fort

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 Nizwa Fort in Nizwa (former capital of Oman)

Nizwa Fort in Nizwa (former capital of Oman)

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 Waterfront, behind the Palace

Waterfront, behind the Palace

 Palace

Palace

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 Sultan Qaboos University

Sultan Qaboos University

 Sunrise at the port

Sunrise at the port

 fish market

fish market

 at the fish market

at the fish market

Seriously, don't even hesitate -- go to Oman.  It is safe, beautiful, and so far, short on tourists--you can thank me later.

Final Tip:
If you take a 14-hour direct flight from Dallas to Dubai, here is a tip. During the long haul (i.e., the time between meal service) if you head to the farthest galley, you will discover a bouquet of treats and snacks.  After watching, Greg, one of my traveling companions ask for and receive two chocolate bars from a flight attendant; I began to realize that there were some secrets to international flights of which I was unaware. Marci (another traveling companion) confirmed that she enjoyed some chocolates as well.  It makes me a tad bit ashamed to have only learned this after we landed.  I have taken more than 20 international flights, and yet this was news to me.  Never fear, I didn't make the same mistake on the return flight.

The Beauty of Paris and London by Krista Boivie

Earlier this month, my best friend Chandra and I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Paris and London during my Spring Break. It has been a few years since I've been to Europe and I was excited to visit again.  Paris is one of my favorite cities and I was thrilled that I could share it with Chandra.  Here is a small selection of some of my favorite images.  

 near our hotel in the St. Germain neighborhood

near our hotel in the St. Germain neighborhood

 We took a Chocolate and Pastry tour of Paris and these were my favorite treats. Yummy chou from  La Maison du Chou

We took a Chocolate and Pastry tour of Paris and these were my favorite treats. Yummy chou from La Maison du Chou

 There is something magical about the Eiffel Tower at night.  We enjoyed wandering around after a relaxing dinner cruise along the Seine.

There is something magical about the Eiffel Tower at night.  We enjoyed wandering around after a relaxing dinner cruise along the Seine.

 We were the fifth people in line to enter Versailles and so I was able to capture this stunning picture of the Hall of Mirrors.  When I was last in Paris 10 years ago, they were doing reconstruction work in this room and everything was covered up--so it was exciting to spend some quiet time alone in the room before the crowds of people arrived.

We were the fifth people in line to enter Versailles and so I was able to capture this stunning picture of the Hall of Mirrors.  When I was last in Paris 10 years ago, they were doing reconstruction work in this room and everything was covered up--so it was exciting to spend some quiet time alone in the room before the crowds of people arrived.

 One of the fountains in the gardens of Versailles

One of the fountains in the gardens of Versailles

 Gardens of Versailles

Gardens of Versailles

 Palais Garnier...even though the legend of the Phantom of the Opera isn't real, it was on my mind the whole time we were wandering this beautiful building.

Palais Garnier...even though the legend of the Phantom of the Opera isn't real, it was on my mind the whole time we were wandering this beautiful building.

Basilica du Sacre-Coeur de Montmartre

 Interior shot of Notre Dame

Interior shot of Notre Dame

 One of the most interesting subway lines we rode while in Paris

One of the most interesting subway lines we rode while in Paris

 View of the Tower Bridge in London from the Tower of London

View of the Tower Bridge in London from the Tower of London

 Parliament, Big Ben and Elizabeth 2 Tower

Parliament, Big Ben and Elizabeth 2 Tower

 Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle

 Amazing sunset view of London from our hotel room

Amazing sunset view of London from our hotel room

Thailand in 6 Shots by Krista Boivie

For Thanksgiving, I traveled with my friend Jen to Thailand and enjoyed some amazing beaches, beautiful scenery and the most delicious meal.  Here are my five favorite pictures of the trip.

 Near Phi Phi Island

Near Phi Phi Island

 The beach from "The Beach" photo by Jen C.

The beach from "The Beach" photo by Jen C.

 The view from our elephant ride

The view from our elephant ride

 A few furry friends we made

A few furry friends we made

 Buddhist Shrine

Buddhist Shrine

 Gorgeous sunset view at our resort.

Gorgeous sunset view at our resort.

Holy Land in Photos by Krista Boivie

I recently completed my photo book about my trip to the Holy Land and in completing the book, I realized that I never showcased some of my favorite images from my trip.  Below are my 10 favorite pictures.  Enjoy!

 Statue on top of the Wedding Church in Cana

Statue on top of the Wedding Church in Cana

 Baha'i Gardens in Haifa

Baha'i Gardens in Haifa

 in Jaffa along the oceanside

in Jaffa along the oceanside

 Border wall in Bethlehem, this was the saddest thing I witnessed on the trip.

Border wall in Bethlehem, this was the saddest thing I witnessed on the trip.

 Inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

 Two holy men outside of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Two holy men outside of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

 View of the Western Wall as you enter the Temple Mount

View of the Western Wall as you enter the Temple Mount

 The ancient olive trees at the Garden of Gethsemane

The ancient olive trees at the Garden of Gethsemane

 Street market in Jerusalem

Street market in Jerusalem

 Street market in Jerusalem

Street market in Jerusalem

Now for a bonus image.  The day we went to visit the Temple Mount was a complete surprise and therefore I was not dressed appropriately and shortly after we entered I was kicked out.  Before I left I gave my camera to Marci W. and she took this great shot below.

 Dome of the Rock

Dome of the Rock

Welcome 2017 by Krista Boivie

2016 proved to be a daunting and stressful year for many reasons, but as a whole, it was a good year. In planning for this post, it became very clear how blessed I've been this past year.  There were many times when the Lord's tender mercies have provided protection, given me strength and enabled me to grow. Before I reveal my goals for 2017, I wanted to recap the highlights from 2016 and the biggest lesson I learned.

Highlights from 2016

  1. I was able to travel to a handful of new destinations: Glacier National Park, State Fair of Texas, Nashville, Tennesee, Jordan, Israel, and Thailand.
  2. I navigated the longest road trip of my life driving with my parents from Dallas to Canada and then onto Denver.  Along the way, we saw Mount Rushmore and Glacier National Park and spent some much needed quality time with my mom's family. 
  3. I was fortunate enough to see Hamilton twice on Broadway.  The first time was with the original cast in March and then again this past December on a trip with my parents and brother. The show was tremendous and I'm completely obsessed with the music.
  4. My parent's celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and we had our first family reunion. After spending the last couple of years organizing the event, I was thrilled with how smoothly everything came together.  I loved spending time with my family and laughing at everyone's stories.
  5. I have continued to grow my leadership skills as a department chair and instructional coach. I also successfully concluded my first year teaching Gifted and Talented Humanities with my co-teacher.  We are now almost halfway through year two and although we've had some challenges, it has been a rewarding teaching experience. 

Lesson Learned:

If I haven't clearly communicated my expectations with someone then I have no right to blame, be angry, hold grudges or feel hurt by their actions. Therefore, I must be brave enough to address critical issues and communicate with honesty and kindness.  Also, if I'm not willing to bring something up--then I must let it go.


Goals for 2017:

  1. I plan to improve my communication skills, most specifically in the realm of critical conversations (see lesson I learned) and my flirting/charisma skills. The events this past year that were the most frustrating were all a result of my inability to properly communicate what I needed/expected.
  2. Although I didn't intend to have my focus in 2016 be my work, that is what happened. Therefore, my second goal is to work on strengthening my personal relationships. This goal has two parts. The first part is to reach out more to my friends/family (letters, phone calls, texting, inviting people over, etc.) The second part is to actively work towards finding a boyfriend. It is very easy for me to be alone, in fact, most of the time I prefer it (one of the side effects of being an introvert). However, life is richer with deep intimate relationships and I don't want to forgo that part of my life anymore. As you can see my communication goal should help with this task as well.  So...if you know anyone that's single--let me know!
  3. I would like to visit 5 places I've never seen before. This should be easy because I already have a few trips planned.
  4. My final goal is to read the entire Bible (Old and New sections) this year.  I haven't read it from cover to cover since I was in high school--I've mostly focused my scripture study on the Book of Mormon, so it's time to revisit the Bible.

What are your goals for  2017?