Same School District, Different World

I am teaching in the same school district in which I went to school and in which I’ve taught for more than 20 years. I attended three different schools in this district and I am teaching in my third school. In addition, between college and full-time teaching I did quite a bit of substitute teaching. First I did so in the area in which I grew up and then I did so at the other end of our county so it covered a decent number of schools. My point is that I have experience with a lot of different schools in my district.

But this year I am in a new (to me) school. As I’ve said, it’s in my school district but it is also located on a military base. I am regularly struck by ways in which that makes this situation different from any other school I’ve known. This has led to a new hashtag only I am using: #SameSchoolDistrictDifferentWorld.

In conversations with my principal or with colleagues I keep hearing, often just in passing, other things that surprise me. Being on a military base, post-9/11, is unique. The part that really gets me is that the things that strike me as so surprising and unusual are the norms for my students and their families. This first quarter of the year has been eye opening for me and I don’t anticipate that stopping anytime soon.

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