The Random Writings of Rachel: Perks of Working With Your Spouse

Perks of Working With Your Spouse

I never, ever thought that my husband and I would work in the same place. This is largely due to the fact that I married a nurse, and, on principle, I avoid hospitals at all costs.

But then, last August, we both ended up in a job that we never could have envisioned at the beginning of our marriage: we both became ESL teachers, teaching different grades at the same school. The coworkers who settled us into the office said that maybe it would be more convenient for us if our desks were right next to each other, and they set us up with two computers at two desks in the same room. We work very closely!

Arriving on campus together, bright and early! You can see the "school bus" in the background, behind the hedge.
In reality, because the actual work involved requires teaching classes in all of our different classrooms, we spend good chunks of the work day in our separate teaching buildings--him with his Senior 2 students and me with my Senior 1 students.

Here are the benefits we've found from this lifestyle:

1. Transportation is so efficient! In Michigan, when we first got married, we had two cars--he had a half-hour drive to work, and I had a 40 minute drive to university. We spent so much time in our separate vehicles just commuting! Here, we wait at the bus stop together, and hop onto the school bus for teachers along with our coworkers. If we did have a car, we could get away with owning 1 instead of 2, because we don't have to be in far-distant places at the same time!

2. We wake up for work at the same time and work on the same days. Well, sort of. I wake up a bit earlier than he does, but we leave at the same time. When we first got married, Angel worked 7 pm-7am. After a year and a half, he switched to day shift, but when he was on days, I was in school Tuesday-Saturday, while he had frequent Sunday shifts, so our schedules never meshed well. It's pretty amazing to have the same days off, all the time.

3. It's really easy to line up a substitute teacher when you're married to one. Two times this past year, I've asked Angel to pick up a class for me because I was feeling miserably ill. Technically, we are allowed to have sick days, but I never want to take one, because my students have so few opportunities to interact with English speakers as it is. Most of our classes don't overlap, so it's easy for Angel to take over one of my periods, or me to take over one of his, and that way, students don't miss out on having Conversational English Class and I don't stress about missing work, so I can actually rest and get better.

4. We divide and conquer. Our coworkers notice that we have very different personalities and skills. Angel is the one they ask when they want to gather players for a basketball game after work. Sometimes he joins in on teacher vs. student soccer games, and has even been helping with coaching/drilling some of the students in soccer skills after school. I don't have the ability to make friends via sports, but his affinity for athletics have opened up a lot of doors for great relationships for us. His team won all of the teachers' tug-of-war competitions, and now, a hilarious picture of Angel pulling furiously on a rope is displayed prominently on a school bulletin board. I, on the other hand, as the resident nerd, am the one that teachers know to pull aside if they want someone to proofread their PowerPoint slides, or brainstorm class activities and homework assignments with. The two of us have very different skills, and I think we both benefit from presenting a united front at work and contributing our best talents to the entire teaching team. Angel's better at sportsmanship and normal camaraderie, while I'm quieter and non-athletic, but extremely useful on the academic side of things.

5. We get to help each other get our work done. Teaching English at two different grade levels that are so close together involves a lot of overlap. There's plenty of times when we've built off the same basic lesson plans to save on busy work, and have just altered activities to fit our own classes' abilities and personalities. We jointly led after-school English corner last semester--and let me tell you, when you're getting 50-100 teenagers to participate in organized games outdoors, having an extra pair of hands helps immensely. I love that my closest partner at work is a man I can trust to do an excellent job and never let me down on doing his part of the preparations.

6. We have the same friends. We've always told each other stories from work, I'm sure that's normal! But I met Angel's coworkers 2, maybe 3 times at most, during his 4 years at the hospital, and I never got great at keeping names straight. "Wait, who's having a baby? I thought she just had one? Oh, that was someone totally different? Okay, never mind." He also rarely came into contact with anyone I was in beauty school with. By contrast, here, we find it fun that we work with the same people and can give updates on friends that our spouse actually knows: "Hey, I went to Coco's office today to chat with her..." "I ate lunch with Snow today and I asked her how common C-sections are for pregnant women in China." {Poll: Please, please guess which one of us, Angel or Rachel, was asking questions about C-sections at lunch. I have a feeling you'll be right.}

I love working with my husband. It's fun to be in a position where we can help each other be excellent in our everyday jobs. I'm glad that we have come to love the same school--we're proud to be teachers at our school, and we're privileged to spend more time together than we ever have before.

38 comments:

  1. I started working in the same office as my husband two years ago and it was a huge adjustment in the beginning. If you spend the whole day in each other's company it takes a while to not see that as spending time together. We had to learn to take a break from each other and to still make time to date.

    I think it was a bigger adjustment for me than for him, but now we seem to manage it really well. Hope your adjustment and new jobs work out just as well for you.

    Stopping by from Monday Madness.

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  2. That's so awesome! You and your hubby are very blessed.
    My husband is a high school history and theology teacher at a small Christian school. I am not a teacher-type. I'm great with 1-on-1 tutoring, but I could not see myself working as a teacher at Taylor's school! haha!

    Kristin // The Peculiar Treasure
    athisfeetdaily.blogspot.com

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  3. I have a feeling Angel asked about the C-sections...

    Loved reading this post! My family works together in our family businesses, and they make pretty good co-workers!

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  4. How awesome that you get to work with him! My boyfriend and I have completely different careers, but have worked together on some creative endeavors and it's always so much fun. What a cool thing that yall get to experience so much and grow together.

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  5. All great perks! It's great to have the quality time and clearly be on the same team! Sadly, I don't think all married couples could pull off working together, so it's especially great to see the ones who can.

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  6. Love this! When Adam and I had the bakery we obviously worked together. A lot of people asked us how we could do it (I guess they thought we would be at each other's throats all day?), but we loved it and got along great! I know it isn't the best situation for everyone, but it worked for us and it sounds like it works for you too!

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  7. It's funny all the benefits to working together. My husband often spends time working from his home office as well and although it can be challenging sometimes, there are also rewards, such being able to walk the dog together or plan our meals together when he works from home.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  8. I used to work with my boyfriend (that is actually how I met him) and now I really miss it. It was always nice to have him there to brighten my day :)

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  9. I think it would be so fun to work with my husband!
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

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  10. One of my blogging friends, Bonnie, teaches English in hgh school and her hubby teaches drama in the same school!

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  11. I think it would be so much fun to work with Nate!!! For about a week while I was between jobs I helped out at his work and, although I really didn't like what I was doing, it was fun to be just on the other side of the room as my love.

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  12. That is really cool you guys work together! My husband recently started working at the same company as me. While we don't work in the same building and don't carpool, it's been nice to meet for lunch sometimes. It does feel better knowing there's someone around if you need them:)

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  13. It's interesting to hear your perspective on this. My SO and I were talking about applying for jobs in the same place for a while (also teaching ESL), but I imagined it might be a bit challenging to not have much time "away" from each other. But I suppose that being able to pool your skills and resources towards the same goal would be a huge help for both people!

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  14. Awww this is awesome!! Takes the relationship to a whole different level but it's so cool for you guys! So much stuff to share & cherish!

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  15. Sometimes I feel like I work with my husband since he works from home! Carpooling together is the best. :-)

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  16. I have wondered whether I would find working with my spouse good or bad...it seems like it would be fun! Ultimately I think it's one of those situations where, if it happens, you decided to love all the pros and work through the cons and thrive where God has planted you.

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  17. That sounds like so much fun! I'd love to work with my husband. At the moment that isn't really possible, but I'm holding out hope for some day. :) I'm happy for you guys! Sounds like you are in a great situation.

    www.how2makehome.com

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  18. yay i love hearing this!!!! i never thought i'd work with my husband either but once you get your routine down, it's really great. love that it's working so well for you both and i'm guessing it wasn't you asking about c-sections HA

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  19. I'm sure it's great working with your husband. You two look great together and I love your dress. Back to subject.. I don't think I could work with Edward. I enjoy working alone and get easily distracted. Whenever he works from home it throws our whole world out of whack. Although, I think if we were in your situation it would be great to see Edward on my breaks or whenever I was having a difficult time.

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  20. This is so awesome! My husband and I could easily work in the same company because our educational background puts us in positions that correlate... but ESL! What a cool way to work together... now you've given me a horrible restlessness and I feel like we need to teach English somewhere amazing! Ha!

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  21. I used to work with my husband at McDonalds, back when we were dating. Then I was actually a manager over him for awhile, lol. We sort of worked well together, although I did get tired of his sarcasm with me. =)

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  22. I really like the idea of working with my husband. He works in construction so I probably won't be doing that any time soon but I could always run the office. :D

    And it does drives me nuts when I try to tell him about my co-workers and he never remembers. He's cool and just pretends to know.

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  23. Great post I am so glad it's working for you both, I am super impressed that they have buses for teachers

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  24. That's awesome! I love working with my husband too, but we work from our home office. It's nice to have the constant company of someone that I truly love to be with.

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  25. Wow, sounds like a lot of perks to working with your husband. Sounds like you also have a great relationship!

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  26. That sounds awesome! Definitely lots of perks. While my husband and I do not work "together" we do both work primarily from home and so it feels like we do sometimes. It is really nice!

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  27. My husband and I always wonder if we could handle working together. Love the perks you mentioned here.

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  28. I don't think I could work with my hubby but I'm happy you can!! This is really sweet! Thank you for sharing! I invite you to please come link up and share this with me, starting tonight at 6p! http://www.wrightsimply.com/search/label/Linky
    Have a great day!! xx Ashleigh @simplyWright

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  29. That's so awesome you can work with your husband!! Love all the perks you listed.

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  30. Awesome that you can work together and not get sick of one another..LOL
    Very sweet post, I enjoyed it....love coming to your blog!
    Valerie
    xoox

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  31. Awesome for you both :) I envy number 2, I get up before my partner everyday for work.. it's soooo hard. Enjoy it :)

    Jackie @http://www.stylemepetite.com

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  32. Oh my goodness this sound fantastic! I wonder what me and the hubby could do together in the future. Of course teaching ESL is always an option.

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  33. I can't wait for the day when I can work full time with my husband! Thanks for sharing on Monday Madness link party :)

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  34. Great post! #1 is so awesome! I would LOVE to be able to just have one car and carpool with my fiancé! Think of all the stuff I could buy with all that extra gas money!! Thanks for sharing your experience!

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  35. What an enjoyable, lovely post. At present Tony and I both work from home most of the time (especially me, as I'm fully self-employed, where as Tony works remotely for IBM and runs his side business from home, too, but does have to travel for work sometimes) and I can tell you, there are pros and cons to that as well. One cute first "pro" that springs to mind is that chances are someone will be able to get the door when the mailman comes calling, assuming at least one of us is home. :)

    Wishing you both a fabulous weekend,
    ♥ Jessica

    *PS* That's a great gingham dress!

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  36. In some ways it seems like it could be fun, but then on the other hand, there's no way Mr. A and I could work in the same place. We would drive each other batty! We're big supporters of the expression "absence makes the heart grow fonder." Not so much that we need to be apart, but our relationship works so well because we have a separation in our lives.

    But still, seriously jealous. All the reasons you listed are awesome! Especially helping each other get work done. I suppose that's the benefit of having a spouse in the same field as you.

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  37. You make that sound really enticing! However, it sounds like you and Angel are good at doing actual work together as well. I know when Tyler and I do something together that feels like work (such as community service type things) he becomes extremely task oriented and then I always feel like he is mad he is so focused on his job that it almost comes across as rude. He isn't trying to be, and luckily I know that now, but I think us actually working the same room wouldn't go over too well! D you feel like you've had to overcome certain obstcles to be able to work in the same place that you wouldn't have if you'd continued working separate jobs?

    I'll pick Angel as the one who brings up C-Sections at work...it has to be.

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  38. I always tease my husband about him putting a "good word" in for me at his job, so we can work together. It's amazing that you and your hubby can work together everyday! I would especially love to omit our separate work commutes, and money by only needing one car. We're sharing a car now, while our other is being repaired, and it is kind of intense sharing one car in Atlanta. Thankfully, our M-F schedules are the same. :)

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