Teachers Have Free Time?

Madison Winter

Many students assume teachers live at school and when they do finally go home, all they do is grade, but many teachers are heavily involved with out of school activities. Believe or not, they do have lives, and their lives do not revolve around students and their papers.

Teachers at Cosby engage in a multitude of fun, non-school related activities such as scrapbooking, golfing, playing tennis, spending time with family, and in some cases, running their own businesses. In many of the teacher’s cases, their out of school activities have nothing to do with what they teach everyday, but for some, they do. Mr. Linkowitz, the Photography teacher at Cosby, runs his own photography business, shooting mainly weddings. However, when he is not behind the camera, he enjoys spending time with his kids and playing golf.

Mrs. Lee, known to many as Frau, is the German teacher at Cosby. She enjoys cooking, spending time with her 6-year-old twins, playing tennis, and hanging out with her family and friends.

Mrs. Mierchuk, a well-known Trigonometry and Calculus teacher at Cosby loves scrapbooking, spending time with her sons, and watching movies. Mr. McKeag, an economics and government teacher here, enjoys spending time with his family, but faces many adult realities like paying the bills along with the demanding teacher schedule of grading.

Will their demanding schedules including deadlines, SOLs, AP Exams, and strict curriculum guidelines, teachers rarely have time to do the things they love to do. Mrs. Mierchuk said that “finding time for ourselves is hard” and Mr. McKeag said, he has “to wait until the summer or breaks” to find time to do the things he loves. While many students think being a teacher is easy, it is actually the opposite. Teachers work longer hours than most other jobs and must still work when they go home, grading papers, and preparing for their classes. On average, teachers said they will grade an hour or two every day and roughly five per week, depending on the class.

Because students seem to believe teachers live and sleep at school,it might be hard to imagine students know what teachers do outside of school. Mr. Linkowitz’s photography students certainly know, as his outside job relates to their class, but as for the other teachers, not so much. Mrs. Lee said that her students “probably think I go home and grade their papers” while many teachers prefer to keep their personal lives personal and not share what they do when they go home with their students.

One of the biggest assumptions students make about teachers is that they go home every day and teach their kids about the subject that they teach in school. (As a teacher’s daughter, I can tell you, this is not the case.) Teachers with kids have heard that stereotype as well, but Mrs. Lee insisted, “we don’t sit down and have German class.”

When asked about his student’s preconceived notions, about what teachers do when they go home from school, Mr. McKeag said he believes students think “that we sit down and we grade and do nothing but eat, live, and breathe.” Mr. McKeag also mentioned that those times he runs into students outside of school confirms his belief because of the awkward social interaction that takes place. He said, “I’m fairly positive you guys don’t think we do anything outside of school,” but after getting to know these teachers as people, it is clear that this is not the case.

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