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A teacher’s homework

Teachers have just as much work as students

Jessica Palakovich

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In Freedom Area High School, many people have noticed over the course of the past year that teachers do not receive the credit that most think they deserve. These people have found that this is a recurring problem within our school district. There have been many changes for teachers including classes, curriculum, budget cuts and new positions.
While teachers might not necessarily be under-appreciated, it’s essential for students to pay attention to how much effort their advisors put forth. Teachers are looking out for their students’ best interests. The majority of teachers would agree that it’s not the money they earn that counts. What counts is knowing that they have provided a student with the best learning environment possible.
One major adjustment this year, was Mr. Aaron Fitzpatrick’s taking over teaching DTV. Currently, Fitzpatrick is the advisor for Print Media Workshop, a Communications teacher, a high school building representative for the Freedom Area Education Association and Senior Class Sponsor. Another major adjustment was Mr. Keith Kovalic’s role as the middle school’s chorus and music instructor. Kovalic is now teaching chorus and music for grades 6-8, high school chorus and senior band.
Another teacher who is responsible for a new position is Mr. George Miklas. This is Miklas’ fourth year teaching special education. This year he took on Mr. Bert Pickard’s position as the home repair teacher. Miklas is also teaching a math and science course, and he is a co-teacher in World Cultures, Modern American Studies and Geometry.
“Special education is full time job due to the strict deadlines and timelines for compliance, and legalese that makes the head spin,” Miklas said.
Most people do not recognize the commitment of time it takes to be a teacher. Students are not the only ones who find it hard to manage time.
On average, teachers spend hours just grading papers. Like most people, teachers have activities they enjoy doing rather than calculating the percentage on a student’s test.
Mr. Craig Bohon, a Spanish teacher for both the middle and high school, has 120 students. All of these students turn in homework and complete tests.
“If I devote just one minute per student test, it would take me two hours to grade a test. Sometimes, I grade tests while eating my dinner and helping my own children with their homework,” Bohon said.
As for the time it takes to grade papers, most would take more than one minute.
Teachers have families, friends and pets to take care of, among their “adopted kids” or students.
Time spent grading papers is not the only concern. The five minutes between classes can be a nuisance for some teachers that need to journey down from the high school to the middle school.
Although he never complains, Bohon is one of the teachers required to do this. In order to get to the middle school on time, he must let his third block class leave a few of minutes early. While it is a matter of minutes, the time adds up in cut class time.
The majority of teachers that are in our school district have other engagements on top of teaching curriculum to students. Bohon is the Sophomore Class Sponsor and the Spanish Club Sponsor.
Every year, Kovalic must keep tabs on the candidates for District Band, District Chorus, County Band, County Chorus etc. and is the conductor of the jazz band.
Kovalic, along with the band, is also involved in the homecoming ceremonies including the parade and the Alumni Band. Annually, they also participate in the Beaver County Invitational Marching Band Festival.
Similar to Bohon, Kovalic never protests about his situation. Like most people in the district, the only thing that worries him is the fact that the music department is diminishing.
“I hope the [Music Department] is still considered a feather in the district’s cap,” Kovalic said.
The pressure that is put upon these teachers’ shoulders, everything from budget cuts to class challenges, seems unending. In contrast, Mr. Kovalic said that due to the variety of music he teaches, he never gets bored and the pressure doesn’t get to him much.
If students can see that teachers have problems also, the school could be a much more positive place. A class functions best when both parties are given the same amount of dedication and respect.
As far as working with a teacher and understanding that they are human too, students need to respect that the faculty in our school district do the best work possible to live up to everyone’s expectations.
Sadly, appreciating a teacher’s value usually doesn’t happen until later in life when a student is mature enough to look back and realize how much education matters. It is similar to the old saying “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.”

1 Comment

One Response to “A teacher’s homework”

  1. Dr. Fuller on October 30th, 2015 11:22 AM

    Great article! Our teachers – actually, our entire staff of professional and support folks – do an amazing job and work very hard for their students day in and day out. They are deserving of the recognition and appreciation! It might even be nice if you brought them a donut or an apple, or even wrote them a quick note of appreciation every once in a while… Just a thought.

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