Teachers retain pastimes outside classroom walls

Vishakha Choudhary, Staff Writer

Teachers spend roughly 45 hours a week in school. Trying to get all of the back talkers and “funny” kids to sit down, listen, do the homework and turn it in on time can be a draining task. Teachers need a way to blow off steam. What do they do?

With about 2,200 kids enrolled here, teachers have a lot on their plates. Though most teachers consider teaching a privilege, others get tired of spending their days with a bunch of sweaty high schoolers who smell bad. Making assignments, giving extra help and then grading those assignments takes time, exhausting teachers.

History teacher and varsity hockey coach Alex Parker spends his time off in nature. “If I’m not with the hockey kids, I like to go fishing. There are tons of great places around Maryland but my favorite is Lake Gaston in North Carolina,” Parker said.

Parker is not the only one who likes spending his free time out in the open. Math teacher Eva O’Keefe goes to great heights to relax. “When I have some time off, if I’m not with my family, I like to climb mountains. My favorite mountain is Wright Peak in New York, but I also love the mountains around here,” O’Keefe said.

While some teachers enjoy going on adventures and being active, others relish staying home and relaxing. Science teacher Kristen Schwarz likes to sit at home. “I like to read books a lot when I’m not grading. I just finished Dying in the Wool, so I need to find a new book,” Schwarz said.

There are also a handful of teachers who simply do not have time to climb mountains, wrestle fish from the ocean or read a book. Psychology and sociology teacher Amy Buckingham does not get much time off. “Free time sounds great but unfortunately I don’t get enough, if I’m not doing work things, I’m doing things for model UN, or driving my kids everywhere. Oh gosh, Cooper’s lacrosse tryouts and practices never seem to end. Even if I do have time off I spend it with my family anyway, or reading,” Buckingham said.

English teacher Melissa Kaplan also spends the majority of her time with her family. “My main hobby at this point is taking care of my child. Don’t get me wrong, I had hobbies before the kid and the new house, but nowadays that takes up most my time. I love my child, but I have found myself neglecting everything else,” Kaplan said.

Math teacher Suzanne Pykosh also does not have time for hobbies outside school. “I like working out but I don’t get to that often anymore. I love teaching too and I really love visiting my sons,” Pykosh said.