25 August, 2013

CAJ Staff Wife Part 2

After I finished my post yesterday, I realised there were a few more things about being a Staff Wife that I'd forgotten to tell you.

Unknown people come up to me and thank me for my husband!

I'm happy that my husband is appreciated by the parents of his students, but how they imagine that I know who they are is beyond me. Most of the time I don't even know who my husband's students are.

We don't get the same holidays that students get

There are numerous occasions on the school calendar that are student-free days, but staff work days. Many families take those days off and do things as families. We can't do that, because David's still at school. Same thing at the start and finish of the school year: we can't "take off" as soon as school's out or stay away until just before school begins.

But David does get more holidays from school than many others get in ministry, so it really isn't something to complain about, and I don't.

I always have to sit alone at graduation

It does seem a pity to dress up for graduation and then sit on my own. Thankfully I've had my eldest son come with me the last couple of years, otherwise it is a bit sad. David has to sit with the other teachers and these last two years has helped the high-heeled senior girls down from the platform also.

Other parents expect that I know more than them

And sometimes I do. So they come to me for advice or information.

At other times I'm as clueless as them. Believe it or not, my husband doesn't tell me everything (even if he was allowed to) about what happens at school. Many times he also expects that I know more than I do. An example was last week when he read an email I'd written to my mum that revealed my ignorance about exactly how many hours he'd be working last week (full-time from Wednesday).

I bring a different perspective to prayer meetings.

I can often bring a staff's perspective to a meeting. Parents at a school don't often think about things from the teachers' perspectives. They don't know about all the things that go on behind the scenes (like recruitment and administration, for example).

I know teachers better than many parents

I also tend to know more of the teachers than many parents do, especially the parents in the younger grades. I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. We do find ourselves socialising with my husband's colleagues. I'm on first name basis with a lot of the teachers, that's interesting when talking with other parents.

This can be awkward. Again, like I mentioned at the end of my last post, having relationships with the same people on a variety of personal and professional levels can be challenging.

Last night we had a new staff family over for dinner. The husband had just realised that he'd be teaching teacher's kids, and especially that he'd be teaching our son. He didn't expect it, we're used to it. In fact our son was keen to be here last night so that he could meet his teacher.

All, in all, I'm happy to be a staff-wife. Many staff have their partner also working at CAJ part-time or full-time. I have no such ambitions. I'm really happy to be the maverick on the side, who has her own distinct ministry, keeping my staff-wife hat quietly in the shadows.

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