BROOKESMITH — Monica Edmondson enjoys teaching her fourth and fifth-grade students at Brookesmith Elementary School life lessons through literature — “aligning it with life.”

Edmondson, who teaches reading, writing and social studies, said her students recently read a book called “Number the Stars,” a historical fiction book about World War II. She said her students hadn’t known much about World War II, and she showed them through the book that “freedom is bought with a price by someone.”

Her students learned about people who didn’t want to defend Jews, and lessons included the principals of “when do you stand up,” Edmondson said. “You can relate life to them, and hopefully give them some knowledge that they didn’t have before.”

Edmondson, a 15-year teaching veteran, teaches reading, writing and social studies in grades 4 and 5. Edmondson previously taught in Brookesmith and in other districts including Blanket, Brownwood and San Angelo, and is in her second year in Brookesmith after returning.

Edmondson’s husband, Scott, is athletic director and assistant superintendent in the Brookesmith school district. They have two daughters — one who works as a nurse, the other in nursing school.

Edmondson thought about becoming a teacher when she was a high school student in San Antonio. Teaching cheer and athletics to fifth, sixth and seventh-graders, Edmondson realized she “kind of had a way with kids,” and learned to balance being firm with being fair.

“I just thought it would be a pretty interesting career,” Edmondson said.

Edmondson said she’s seen education change and become more challenging. “Just as the culture changes, naturally education is a reflection of the culture that we live in, and that is changing as well,” Edmondson said.

In the teaching profession, you don’t always see the difference you’re making  on a daily basis, Edmondson said.

But you do see it, Edmondson said.

As an example, Edmondson recalled recently attending a Blanket football game, where she and her husband previously worked.

“They had actually asked us to come,” Edmondson said of the Blanket students. “I had them when they were in middle school, and they still remember. They’ll come up they’ll say ‘thank you for teaching me this’ or ‘I sure miss this about you.’

“That’s a good feeling. Sometimes you don’t see it day-to-day, but every once in awhile, you go back … that’s a good feeling that they took something with them, and you were a role model in some way for them.”