The Secret (Work) Life of Teachers

The outside jobs of teachers students do not know.


Out of seven days of the week, students dread a specific five days and 35 hours a week, school. Though these students dread the heavy work load, thinking that their teachers come in, grade papers, and do nothing else outside of school, this is very untrue. Many teachers have full jobs on the side of doing what students assume is their only job: teaching.  Ranging from one to three jobs, these teachers have a tighter schedule than many think. 

Starting off, Erin Kasner, a Math teacher at Elkhorn North High School, works on the side at El Bee’s, a well known restaurant in Waterloo. Kasner serves as a waitress mostly during the summer, but during the school year she likes to pick up extra shifts. Kasner is not new to this job  as she has been working at El Bee’s since she was in high school. 

Kasner enjoys the job as it does not feel too overwhelming since she mostly does it during the summer. “I do enjoy it; In the summer it gets me out the house and I like having extra cash to do fun stuff with my family, and sometimes I’ll work extra days around Christmas,” Kasner said. 

Kasner Serving at El Bee’s, Photo by Erin Kasner

This has not always been Kasner’s only job as she has coached volleyball, basketball, and track in the past. But as her husband became an athletic director, she had to call it quits as their schedules did not line up. Working at El Bee’s has benefited Kasner enough that she plans to continue to work there outside of school. 

Tomi Connelly, Spanish teacher, has a couple more school-related jobs. Outside of teaching, Connelly coaches volleyball at the middle school, is the department chair for world language and is a Co-sponsor of the Junior Class Board. Though these jobs are more school related, they add more onto Connelly’s schedule than her regular teaching day. 

Connelly has been teaching volleyball off and on at various middle schools for 12 years out of the 17 she has been in Elkhorn. She enjoys these outside jobs as they give her a chance to work with kids in a different way. “I get to see kids’ personalities a little more than just in the classroom,” Connelly said . 

At times this can be overwhelming to Connelly because she is a parent and she has to grade constantly,  causes her to have to manage time well, though the extra work takes up only a short amount of time. 

“Every time I have decided to stop doing it, then I miss it, then I go back,” Connelly said 

Topping it all off is Amy Hurley, an English teacher, who has a very heavy load. Working not one, not two, but three outside jobs, Hurley doesn’t always enjoy the time spent on these jobs. She works at Barnes and Noble, has a tutoring business, and is a server at the Hilton; Hurley has a tight schedule. 

After tutoring and bartending for 15 years and working at Barnes and Nobles for seven, Hurley has had to take a big break this year because of COVID-19. Though she does not always enjoy working, Hurley enjoys the extra income. She prefers to work these jobs in the summer as working during the school year can become too time consuming. 

All in all, teachers are doing more than students know. Ranging from coaching to serving many teachers have lives outside of school students do not know.