By Tania Bogart, President, Educators United (email firstname.lastname@example.org; meetings are second Wednesday of the month.) Next meeting: Wednesday, May 12 from 5:30-6:15 p.m. Topic: Anti-racism. Join via zoom: https://nu.zoom.us/j/93750115064
I got a phone call from my children’s school one morning, asking me to pick up my 6-year-old son because he had an anger outburst at school. He was screaming, kicking the desk, and trying to flee the classroom. From the teacher’s perspective, the cause of the outburst seemed to stem from a crayon being broken, and this behavior was highly irregular. Only adding to the confusion was that it was my twin boys’ birthday that day. Once we had signed out and were walking back to the car in silence, I asked him how he was feeling. He immediately broke down in tears and said, “Why did daddy have to go to Japan?” My heart shattered in that moment.
My husband had left for Japan the day before. While this is nothing new for me, having experienced four deployments and countless weeks where my husband has been on travel, this was entirely new for our young children, who had only experienced his absence at an age that they would not remember. Adults are capable of handling their emotions (for the most part.)
As military spouses, we are the ones that pick up the pieces when our spouse deploys, taking full responsibility of both parental roles, the home, work and school commitments, and the needs of our children. The emotional burden is at times overwhelming, especially when you see how it impacts your child, and absolutely nothing you can say or do will give them the comfort that their deployed parent would.
I cannot put into words how difficult it is be a pseudo-single parent, when you normally have the support of your spouse every day. The tears that well up when your child realizes that their parent won’t be there to celebrate a birthday or attend their sporting events, or their inability to sleep at night for fear that something will happen to their parent. This complex life adds tremendous stress to our military children.
There is so much that we can learn as a support role in the field of education and positively impact our students. April was dedicated as the month of the military child, and it deserves to be celebrated. There are so many ways that we can support these resilient children, many ways that we can learn and grow as educators.
We invite all National University students that are entering the field of education to join our student organization.
- EMAIL email@example.com to join.
- MEETINGS: Second Wednesday of every month. Upcoming: May 12. 5:30-6:15 p.m. via zoom. https://nu.zoom.us/j/93750115064. Topic: Anti-racism.
- Our website: Educators United @ National University
- INSTAGRAM: NU Educators United (@educatorsunited.nu)
- TWITTER: NU Educators United (@educatorsunited.nu) • Instagram photos and videos
- FACEBOOK: National University Educators United | Facebook
Educator Resources for Military Families
- April 15 -Wear purple on Purple Up Day – Wearing purple is a visible way for everyone to show support and thank military youth for their strength and sacrifices.
- USO San Diego has established many programs designed for military children to connect with each other and thrive in their surrounding community. Please check out their website for valuable events and resources. MilKid Club • USO San Diego
- ACSD.org has amazing educator resources for supporting your military family students. Please take a look at all the great information they have here: Resources for Supporting Military Students (ascd.org)
- Veteran Center @ NU- As a National University student and military spouse, I have found the Veteran’s Center an incredible resource both virtually, and in person. Please check out their webpage here: Veteran Center | National University (nu.edu)