Double Duty

Lara Hamdan, Editor-in-Chief


It’s sometimes a mystery among students what teachers do with their lives outside of our school. Some spend time with their families, coach sports and even have other jobs. You might find yourself running into a McCluer North teacher when you walk in a pool or a restaurant.

A teacher close to home and familiar to students who visit Koch Park annually every summer is English teacher Ms. Amanda Hall. Hall is a manager at Koch Park Family Aquatic Center in Florissant.

“I started there as a lifeguard when I was 16 and just never stopped going back,” Hall said. “It’s a great job for a teacher.” Hall enjoys both jobs she has. She becomes excited to hit the pool in May but by August she is ready to get back in the classroom. She enjoys the late starts to the day such as getting to sleep in until 9 instead of getting up at 5. She also is a fan of the tan and her job is perfect for it. She enjoys seeing North students and even has the opportunity to work with them.

“It’s a different relationship when they’re your employees than when they’re your student,” she said. “At the same time, though, I am always really proud of the responsibility the lifeguards take on, and seeing them step up in a real emergency is pretty impressive.” Balancing both jobs isn’t as difficult for Hall since they are not very long hours and do not occur during the same season. The most challenging part for her would be wrapping things up for the end of the school year by grading assignments and cleaning out her classroom since that’s when the pool opens.

“Otherwise, I love that my summer job keeps me busy, but not too busy,” she said.

Another place you might see a teacher is a teacher in a different classroom. English teacher Mr. Jacob Kruse is a teacher at Lindenwood University in their accelerated evening program. He teaches a class one night a week, four hours long, and consists of teaching three different classes, two writing courses and one literature course.

“It’s a different experience working with adults, some who are even decades older than myself,” Kruse said. “You get to hear different perspectives on the writing process, literature, and life in general.” As a teacher with students who are paying for the class, Kruse feels additional pressure do his best. He does feel a challenge in balancing both jobs.

“Balancing both is definitely a challenge, especially after working a full day here and then heading to campus until 10,” he said. “But in the end, it’s worth the extra effort.”

How about seeing your teacher at a restaurant? History teacher Mr. Todd Flanders works in a pizza joint called Manhattan Express in Clayton. He enjoys his job because of the people he works with but in his eyes, nothing tops teaching. He does note that there are similarities between the pizza joint and school because both require attending people’s services, such as lessons or food. He enjoys teaching way more.

Instead of providing a service, music teacher Ms. Mary Wissinger provides entertainment.

“I am a singer and work around St. Louis performing in choirs, like the St. Louis Symphony Chorus, shows, at weddings, and occasionally on albums that people are recording,” Wissinger said. She enjoys the aspects of both jobs, such as working with her students and staff members, but she also loves being an artist and working with other musicians. She does note the similarities between each job by comparing her classroom to a stage. She also does vocal demonstrations and sings frequently in class. Luckily for her, balancing out her schedule is also not a difficult task since most of her gigs are in the evening or on Saturdays.

“However, teaching is very tiring, and it can be difficult to save my voice at school when I’ve got a big performance coming up,” she said. “I’ve had to create some attention getting cues in my class to keep my voice fresh.”

Running into your teacher outside of school can probably be easier than you think. So that just make them more normal than the bubble we put them in.