A Day in the Life: Math Teacher Edition

Megan Callahan and Addie Wittkamper

Do you ever wonder what your teachers do outside of school? Maybe your English teacher only reads, or your Science teacher is just constantly thinking about protons and neutrons. Many students are under the impression of this stereotype. If you look at a Math teacher, you would probably think they add numbers at home for pure pleasure. A few teachers at Ipswich High School were interviewed to see if this stereotype was true. 

Mr. Hughes was the first Math teacher to be interviewed. He was asked what his typical week day looks like. For him, it depends on his schedule that day. He makes sure all his work is ready to give to his students for the day. He likes to start off his classes by getting his students into the swing of things. Everyday his number of classes vary, sometimes he has to teach one class, and sometimes five.

After school, Mr. Hughes will run, go to the gym, get outside, and usually have a snack. He also takes some time for himself. His wife doesn’t get home until 6:45 so he has the responsibility to make dinner.

A typical weekend day for Mr. Hughes contains many projects. He tries to keep his house in order. He fixes things around the house and does yard-work. In addition, he and his wife prepare a big meal on Sunday to carry over for the next couple days. It makes it easier when cooking for the rest of the week. 

Like any other person, Mr Hughes has many activities he likes to do outside of school. “Since I live in Newburyport I enjoy going on walks,” says Mr. Hughes. Another activity he likes is basketball. He plays in the men’s league during the week at the YMCA. He participates in weekly games. 

Mr. Hughes is the coach for JV baseball. When asked how he felt about it, he said, “I really like it. Since it’s a spring sport, I get to be outside which is very enjoyable.” 

Before he started teaching, Mr. Hughes had a lot of time to play music. He would record his own music and play live with his band. Now that he has become a teacher he says it’s harder to continue with that passion as often as he once did.

When asked his favorite way to spend alone time, Mr. Hughes said, “I really like to read; sci-fi is generally my favorite genre.” Also, Mr. Hughes tends to spend his alone time catching up on his favorite TV documentary: “Frontline.”

Next was Mr. Mabbott. He was asked what a typical week day looks like. Since Mr. Mabbott has two young daughters he wakes up around 5:15. He gets himself and his kids ready, and leaves the house at 6:20 every morning. “

I then teach whatever classes I have that day. This year I teach Algebra I, Statistics, and Business and Entrepreneurship,” says Mr. Mabbott. After school ends, depending on the day he either runs Math League practice, goes to a Math League competition, or stays late to grade and catch up on work. Typically, he gets home by 4 o’clock to spend time with his family and have dinner. After dinner he puts his girls to bed, and relaxes with his wife for a few hours before he goes to bed, as well. 

Mr. Mabbott’s weekends vary. “Sometimes my family and I go away and travel to see friends. Sometimes, we end up going to my mother in law’s in Winthrop,” says Mr. Mabbott. On the weekends, when he and his family are not traveling, he usually catches up on chores and runs errands. He also likes to fix up his house and make it  neat on the weekends during the school year.

When asked about what his favorite activities were to do outside of school, Mr. Mabbott had a few. “I love spending time with family and traveling. I also love combining the two. I hope to bring the girls cycling as they get older,” says Mr. Mabbott. He has cycled across Europe a few times with his wife before his kids were born. He hopes to go back to Europe to cycle for a summer. His dream cycling trip is from Alaska to Patagonia, through the Americas. To complete this, it will take Mr. Mabbott a few years.

Mr. Mabbott is involved in a club called Math League through the school, in which he is the coach. Mr. Mabbott’s responsibility is to organize the team, recruit new members, give pep talks, and organize transportation to all competitions. 

After picking up a new profession, people tend to not have time for the usual things in their life. It’s a bit different for Mr. Mabbott. He says it’s not so much becoming a teacher, but having kids that limits his time for things he often did. Since having kids, Mr. Mabbott doesn’t have as much time to do wood turning. He often made bowls, plates and other items. He also mentioned how he would like to cycle more, but it’s hard because of how young his kids are. He can not take them cycling yet, but hopes to as soon as they get old enough.

Some ways that Mr. Mabbott likes to spend his alone time is relaxing, reading books, and watching tv shows. He also finds peace in cycling. “I like to be active, so sometimes I get on my bike and cycle about 50 miles. It gets my brain in a good place,” Mr. Mabbott says. 

Lastly we interviewed Mrs. Horst. On an average weekday, Mrs Horst begins her day at 4:30am to get herself and her two daughters ready for school. She then brings her girls to Tiger Tots. She teaches all different levels of math classes throughout the day. When the school day concludes, “We usually have swim or everyone in the neighborhood is playing outside so the girls play outside,” says Mrs. Horst. Later her family has dinner, shortly followed by bedtime.

A typical weekend day for Mrs. Horst is filled with lots of fun and good food. While she often finds herself at four year olds’ birthday parties, she also brings her daughter to dance class and “Learn to Skate” every Sunday. 

Mrs. Horst also mentioned her family’s love for food. “We are foodies in my family and we also love routine. Every Saturday morning, we go down to Newburyport and get a bagel from Abe’s and go down to the boardwalk,” says Mrs. Horst. On Sundays, they start their morning with breakfast at Mad Martha’s and take a walk on the beach. Though her family fills their days with activities, the girls always find time to play with the other neighborhood kids.

With two daughters, it can be difficult to find time to herself, but if she gets some, Mrs. Horst might attend a dance class. As a high-schooler, Mrs. Horst took a jazz class at The Tannery in Newburyport, which is where she goes now if she has time. When she’s not alone, she also loves to hang out with her husband and girls.

Because Mrs. Horst became a teacher right out of college, she did not have an answer when asked if there was anything she could no longer do since beginning her teaching career. “I don’t think teaching has prevented me from being able to do what I want,” she says. Having kids has occupied more of her time than teaching has, but she wouldn’t trade her life now for anything. 

Like most people, Mrs. Horst likes to spend whatever alone time she gets watching This Is Us on Netflix or going to Salisbury Beach for a quick getaway. 

As you can see, Math teachers, or at least the ones at IHS, don’t spend their free time doing math or prepping for class. Our Math teachers all lead very interesting lives while balancing the daily activities of a teacher with basketball, cycling, dance, and taking care of their families. Now, before you stereotype your teachers’ lives, get to know them a little better. You may be surprised by what you learn.