Adolescence as a whole can be difficult without adding 10 different public schools from K-12. For Krystal Watson, an English teacher at Collegiate High School, this was her life as an “Army brat.” It laid the foundation of what she would come to choose for herself and her future.
“I always feel a pang of jealousy when people recall their favorite elementary and middle school teachers who are amorphous shadows in my memory,” Watson said of her school days. “I was completely and utterly disengaged as a high school student.”
The basis of her disengagement came from her personal home life, starting and ending in both physical and emotional abuse. It led to her feeling as though she was nothing, that she was incapable of learning or even being a good student. When she graduated high school in 1991, she went to what she knew, the Army.
Watson, who was born in Corpus Christi but raised elsewhere, served six years in the Army as a medical lab assistant. She had a fast-paced-job in medical labs and was continuously learning new information. She eventually learned that she was smarter than she originally thought she was, even more so than other people she was surrounded by. With these new ideas swirling around within her head, she began to feel a pull for something she said was “bigger.”
It took some time before she gained her courage to go into teaching. After she got her bachelor’s degree in 2002 she became a federal government employee. However, she was still feeling a pull for something better. She began teaching in Tampa, Florida.
Watson said her teaching philosophy originates from her background. The first thing she tells her students is, “I will believe in you until you believe in yourself.”
As a teacher, she means to have all her students feel some type of success. The students who feel that they cannot, often just need to be taught differently. Her teaching changes every year to reflect our society.
Watson is passionate about her job and her students. She does her best so that her students will want to do their best because she loves being a teacher.
“It took me a long time and a lot of mistakes to accept that this is my calling. I was meant to be a teacher,” Watson said.