Courtyard Conversations: Teacher Monica Wilson

Editor’s note: Courtyard Conversations is a monthly series, which features the school’s staff members, and a topic that is relevant to their lives or work at the school. TRL staff members speak with each month’s subject in the courtyard. For the first edition, TRL editors Lindsey Hughes and Parker Post kicked off the series interviewing principal Chris Mayfield.

After 25 years in scrubs, Monica Wilson teaches health science at the high school.

“I really love them both,” Wilson said. “And there’s great things about both. They’re both community service careers really. And so, I think that I’m more comfortable as a nurse just because that’s what I’ve been doing and that’s who I am,” Wilson Smiles. “But I am loving the teaching, and I’m learning I think just as much as my students. They’re so sweet.”

Wilson attended nursing school after taking a microbiology class at the University of Texas. After graduating from nursing school, she began work in Medical Surgery. 

“It’s not just about health,” Wilson said. “Most of them have other issues going on also. A lot of them don’t have home support at home, so that’s when the social worker gets brought in or they have chronic illnesses along with what they’re in for,” Wilson pauses. “They might have diabetes and be in for pneumonia or rheumatoid arthritis, or some kind of autoimmune disease.”

Before coming to Lovejoy, Wilson worked as a Medical Surgery nurse, Dialysis Nurse and long term care nurse. Part of Wilson’s job as a nurse was to check on each of her patients. 

“Well, I walked into one lady who was just sitting in her chair, and she had a PICC line and it was just bleeding out,” Wilson said. “I didn’t know how long it was out. I saw all the blood and you know, blood always looks like more than it is. The problem with that is that she’d pulled it out.”

After six years, Wilson went from the hospital’s Medical Surgery to a satellite facility specializing in Dialysis (kidney failure).

“I mean six years of a lot,” Wilson said.“The reason I got out of nursing altogether was just the hours. You can work the days you want pretty much but the hour I would be home for my kids and time. Like if you work seven to seven it’s a long day. So I feel like I paid my dues.”

Wilson moved to part time nursing ten years ago after having her second child. Last year, Wilson worked in a long term care facility. Long term care facilities take care of older individuals who have medical needs.

“They were so funny. A lot of them are pretty mean,” Wilson laughs. “I would be too, and I don’t want to go into a nursing home — I will not be an easy patient. Then I have some that are so sweet and I really miss them. I probably will someday go back to do that, just not full time: like a couple of days a month or something to keep on check. Keep up with my skills.

Wilson moved here this year because one of her kids wanted to attend in this district. She has one kid that graduated from Allen, One kid currently in Allen and one in Lovejoy.

“I love being a teacher. It’s nice to be around healthy young people, especially since I just came from long term [care],” Wilson said. “Older people it’s like the opposite: their towards the end of their life. They won’t leave their nursing home. Here, they’re starting out. They’re starting their lives. So it’s just really neat to see everybody healthy, happy and with their future ahead of them.”

Wilson is also a substitute teacher along with teaching health science. 

“As a nurse, I’ve never interviewed for a job,” Wilson said. “Never. They’re always short nurses, even 25 years ago. You just give them your resume and your license and there you go. There is a lot to teaching. You wouldn’t think of that until you actually do it. A lot of work goes into the actual classroom part of it. It’s a lot of planning, even if you know what you’re talking about.”

Wilson plans on continuing to teach health science next year. She doesn’t know if she’ll pick up any other classes yet. 

“It’s so different from nursing,” Wilson said. “It’s so stressful in its own way, but it’s not. I feel pretty confident that when I walk in to work that most everyone’s gonna be breathing.”