Teaching duo loves job at EA
New Escambia Academy Elementary School teachers Jami Martin and Kristin Wasdin became fast friends when they started their teaching career at the Canoe school.
Martin, who teaches third grade and the first African American teacher at the school, and Wasdin, who teaches fifth grade, came to EA by way of Baldwin County.
Martin grew up in Baldwin County, and graduated from Troy University with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education K-6. She has taught in the Baldwin County School System off and on for six years.
“Two of those years were spent teaching kindergarten, and the other was teaching fifth grade,” she said. “In between then, I did a lot of intervention, teaching and substitution.”
Martin’s teaching stints led her to Bay Minette Elementary, Stapleton Elementary and Bay Minette Middle School.
Wasdin is a graduate of Robertsdale High School, and she received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Liberty University, which is Baptist college in Linchburg, Va. At present, she’s finishing up her master’s degree in elementary education from Liberty.
“This is my first teaching job,” Wasdin said. “I’ve subbed in the Baldwin County School System for three years.”
A lot of teachers get into the education profession because of a love for kids.
Martin said she grew up around little kids as her grandmother held a daycare at her house.
“I grew up around taking care of kids teaching them their ABCs, being the typical girl and being a school teacher,” she said. “I just never drew away from it. I drew away from a lot of things, but I just never drew away from children. Children are my heart.”
For Wasdin, who is also a licensed cosmetologist, she likes being around people, especially children.
“I really do love children,” she said. “I like working with them.”
While both teach all subjects to their students, they do have their favorites.
For Martin, it’s science.
“I don’t know why, but I just enjoy the hands on aspect of it,” she said. “I feel like I can do more hands-on things with science. The students like to see and be able to work with it themselves.”
Wasdin said her favorite is U.S. History because it’s the stories that intrigue her.
“I’m a history buff,” she said. “I love history. I love hearing stories about people living it and hearing about it. I’m an old soul in the wrong era.”
Martin said her favorite part about teaching is knowing that she’s made a difference in her students’ lives.
“I taught kindergarten in Bay Minette, and they come to me, and say, ‘Ms. Martin, when are you going to come back?’ That just shows me I made a difference in them,” she said.
For Wasdin, her favorite part is when the students understand something she teaches, and then engages them in a conversation.
“I enjoy bouncing the conversation back and forth,” she said. “A lot of the times they make me laugh, but I enjoy that conversation I get to have with them.”
Martin and husband, Eli, have three children, Daylan, 10; Cameron, 3; and Zoey, 1.
Wasdin and husband, Adam, have three children as well, Payton, 9; Brice, 7; and Gaige, 6.