Teacher’s summer vacations include summer jobs

Anna DeLibro, Reporter

Do you ever wonder what teachers do over the summer? Although teachers luck out by having one of the only jobs that gives you a three-month break, some decide to keep working. According to a study conducted by the US Bureau Labor Statistics, public school teachers are five times more likely than a full-time US worker to have a part-time job. Whether its owning your own business, or having a simple day job, these teachers just cannot quit.
Math teacher, Nancy Ferguson has landscaping business called “Botanical Designs” since 2004. She is qualified not only to teach statistics, but she also knows a few things about pest management and plant identification.
“It’s you and the dirt [and], it’s such a contrast to teaching,” Ferguson said. “There’s an immediate gratification, like if you walk on a job and the place looks a mess [and], when you leave it looks beautiful.”
Along with her business partner, she also works with and hires her fellow students. Aidan Brannigan (’19) worked for her this past summer.
“It was fun,” Brannigan said. “I was outside the whole summer, so it was nice.”
She doesn’t only hire students however. History and Econ teacher Ed Martin also worked for her in past summers.
“[It] seemed like easy work and I didn’t have to grade anything, so I was more than willing to do that,” Martin said.
Some of the projects the company has done includes mulching, gardening, cutting grass, and virtually anything outside.
Gym teacher Jennifer Erline owns and operates Freestate Swim Club during her summers. Before owning the swim club, she lifeguarded and helped with swim lessons. This is now the fifth year that she has owned it.
“A typical day at the pool starts early in the morning; we get there, we clean and set everything up,” Erline said. “Sometimes we will have swim lessons in the morning prior to opening (to the members), and we make sure the pool is clean and the equipment is functioning.”
The swim club has hosted many recreational activities, such as paddleboard yoga, aqua Zumba, family swim night, and some summer conditioning camps.
Erline’s favorite part of the job is being able to be out in the sun all day, as well as the rewarding satisfaction of happy members. Like Ferguson, she hires students too. Sara Beck (’19) worked as a lifeguard at Freestate Swim Club over the summer.
“The pool was so nice, the staff is amazing, and Ms. Erline is an amazing boss [who is] always willing to teach us new things”, Beck said.
Erline only hires lifeguards who are Red Cross Certified and those who have their pool operator license. Beck got her certification through Red Cross at the YMCA.
“I have wonderful young adults working for me, and just building that relationship with them is great, [as well as] being able to teach them good work ethic and the right way to do things,” Erline said.
Science teacher Russel Drylie also enjoys helping people. He works at Charm City Run during his summers and has been working there since 2008.
“I really enjoy running and I enjoy helping other people get into the sport or feeling confident in their abilities,” Drylie said.
His passion runs long for the sport. He has enjoyed running since high school (participating in the cross country and track teams) and fuels his work-ethic with his experience.
“My favorite part is just getting individuals who are either new to the sport or just trying to improve their health, and being passionate about that, and helping them get into a hobby,” Drylie said.
Getting a look at teachers’ lives during summer can be interesting, but it also provides insight into how their hard-work outside of school can affect their diligence in the classroom. Finding out that a math teacher can be something as freeing as a landscaper, or that a science teacher can have a knack for helping people find the right pair of shoes shows that teachers are just as ordinary as everyone else.