While many newlyweds long to spend as much time together as possible, one couple is accomplishing that — in the classroom.
Team teachers Lok Fung and Shannon Law team-teach at St. Patrick Catholic School every day with only a door separating them. The couple married just over a year ago after meeting at Stephen F. Austin University while they were both completing their degrees to become teachers.
Spending the day together makes spending the evening together even more interesting, they said.
“We met on the soccer field,” Lok said. “I was getting my master’s degree in business and she was getting her undergrad. We played on the same team, and as things went on, when we graduated we both began teaching here before we were married.”
It turns out that Lok had more than just teaching up his sleeve when he dropped to one knee and proposed to Shannon last year.
“I actually proposed to her here in her classroom in front of the children,” Lok said.
Shannon said he always gives her watches because she is constantly losing them. So when he handed her a watch box the last day before Christmas break, she was not expecting what was tucked away inside.
“Inside the watch box was the ring box,” she said. “Then he got down on one knee. The girls were crying and the boys were clapping, and I was completely caught off guard. It was great.”
Their days as teachers and life partners keep them busy, but they are memorable.
Lok teaches history and math, and coaches soccer for middle school students. Shannon teaches science and English, and coaches basketball and track.
“The days are kind of crazy, so by the time we get home, we just kind of crash,” Lok said. “We are currently in our soccer season, but with track and basketball, it gets really busy.”
There is little time outside the classroom or school activities for the Laws, who said their time is consumed each day with classroom plans and individual student needs.
“It gets a little challenging sometimes,” Shannon said. “In the classroom, we each just do our own thing, but when I need a little help or input, it is nice to be able to open the door that separates us, and there he is.”
In the evenings they discuss students, lesson plans, programs and problems. Shannon said it is great to have “another teacher’s ear” in addition to a friend to talk to about her classes.
“We don’t normally disagree on ways to solve problems or methods of teaching,” Lok said. “We just want our kids to excel, and that is what we both thrive on.”
The Laws said they love St. Patrick and are happy co-teaching.
“This is a great place,” Shannon said. “The kids are fantastic, and we just look forward to coming to school together each day.”
The couple have different backgrounds but their goal to impact students’ lives in a positive way is what ultimately caused their paths to cross.
Shannon was born in Fort Worth, but her family moved to Martinsville and she enrolled at SFA after graduating high school. Lok was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Jamaica.
“I went to Austin to get my bachelor’s and on to SFA to get my master’s degree, and that is when life changed,” Lok said.
They both have dreams not only for their futures, but also for their students.
“In life, I have always wanted to change the world somehow, and what better place to change it than in the classroom,” Lok said. “We want to educate the students in a way they will be more prepared for the world they will go into.“
They both speak Spanish and English, and Lok speaks Cantonese and four other Chinese and Jamaican dialects.
Their plans for the future are still unknown. Lok is currently studying for his administrative certification. Shannon is continuing her education for an alternative certification.
“It is amazing when you can teach a child something you know will better them and they truly don’t know anything about,” Shannon said. “I think it is awesome that we can teach together and they learn something that is so new and fresh. Their minds are so ready to learn.”
Rhonda Oaks’ email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.