Story by McKenna Carson, Walker Valley Sophomore
All schools are made up of the people who run them. Students are the main focus, but the teachers are often overlooked. Students have stressful lives with deadlines, homework, and projects, but the lives of teachers are not taken into consideration. They can have families to take care of at home, other jobs, and so on.
Students usually do not think about their teachers once school is over for the day, but the truth is that students’ and teachers’ lives are not much different from each other.
In the state of Tennessee, two of the credits required for high school graduation are for learning another language: Spanish, German, or French. It can be very hard for some students to learn how to produce another language through speaking and writing. Another problem can be students who do not want to learn a different language at all. The teachers who have to work hard every day to teach another language and deal with these problems can easily have the most stressful life after school ends.
Mindy Freeman is a Spanish teacher at Walker Valley High School in Cleveland, Tennessee. She is a tall woman, approaching six feet in height, with sharp Puerto Rican waves in her dark brown hair. Her voice is low and soft, giving her students a motherly sense of comfort as she speaks to them.
During an interview about what the inside of a teacher’s life is like, Ms. Freeman relaxed in a teacher’s lounge. Her voice was gentle as she answered questions about her routines and home life.
To first learn a personal aspect about her life, Ms. Freeman was asked what inspired her to become a teacher. Her response was not very detailed (because it mostly consisted of memories from her childhood), but she did mention that she “loved playing school” when she was a little girl, and that throughout her life afterwards, she always knew she was going to be a teacher.
Transitioning into her life at home, she was asked about how being both a parent and a teacher had their similarities. The given response was a blend of setting rules and boundaries to the child being a reflection of what a parent and teacher have taught that child. With the details that were being told, the conclusion to her answer came down to the fact that teachers are “always looking to educate students,” and as a parent, “you’re doing the same with your child, but with life lessons.”
Hardships are faced in all careers, and a person dealing with them can really impact others around them. Ms. Freeman was asked if being a teacher had ever negatively affected her family. She described how being at home is the place to “let [stress] all loose” and how sometimes family members “feel the pressure that we are feeling.”
Feeling the pressure from school also affects students, and most of it comes from homework. Teachers also have homework. During the interview, Ms. Freeman was asked how much work and grading she had to do at home and if it was hard to maintain. She immediately responded that it was indeed hard to maintain; than she went on about why it was that way. It turns out that teachers never truly get to rest until summer break because “the work load is constantly on our mind day in, day out…weekend to weekend…we could actually be working from morning till night every day.” This is a big eye-opener on what teachers have to go through in their lives.
One of the last questions asked was about how hard it was for a teacher to present a good mood for students when the teacher’s heart just is not in it that day. Her answer revealed how professional teachers have to be at times because sometimes teachers have to “put on a face” in order to not show that something is wrong; “that’s expected of us,” she later commented. It shows how teachers “have [their] days just like students do,” meaning stress can negatively affect their lives.
Ms. Freeman was happy to answer the questions given to her and gave information that successfully told what happens inside a teacher’s life. Her answers were clear and easy to make out. This is clear evidence that a teacher’s life is very similar to a student’s life.