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.