Saturday, October 12, 2013

Always on the Clock

As a teacher, the job doesn't end when contract time is up at the end of the day. I don't mean the paperwork or the planning, I mean the title.

Today started out like a normal Saturday. We headed off to the local fireman's pancake breakfast.

"Hey, Mrs. Goerend! Is that your baby?" - Student.

"Yep, this is Wesley. He's sleeping." - me in my non-showered, pony-tailed, baby wearing appearance.

Which proceeded into an introduction to the student's mom. (I teach 300+ kids over two days, so, no, I haven't met every parent yet.)

- 30 minutes later. Still at the pancake breakfast - 

"Hi, Mrs. Goerend! Is that your baby? Where's Mr. Goerend?" - Student.

(proceed to have a conversation...then one with the student's mom about my class)

- Three hours later at the grocery store -

Wave and say, "Hi" to a former student selling Boy Scout popcorn as I lug the baby in his carseat into the store.

- 10 minutes later -

Wave to two students as I drive home.

- Three hours later -

Woman shows up to buy something from the local swap page.

"Oh, I was looking up your address and my daughter said, 'oh, that's my Leadership teacher!'"


And that was all by 2pm.

Do I teach in a small town? No. Fastest growing district in Iowa.

Today was a reminder to me that I'm always on the clock. I'm always Mrs. Goerend. 

Do you choose to live in the community in which you teach? If so, why? If not, why not?


  1. I don't teach K12 any longer, but when I did I was always on the clock as well. Even in the summers I would run into students or their parents and I was always "Mr. Rahn." I didn't mind it one bit! It's just who we are.

  2. Hello, my name is Sarah Barnett and I attend the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. I am taking a class called EDM 310; which is a class we learn to interact with others using blogger. All of the students in this class get assigned to teacher's blogs to comment on. I was assigned you! We then have to go back and include our comment and a summary of your post on our own blog. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. It was fascinating. I never realized that being a teacher is around the clock work. Your encounters with students on a Saturday morning seemed to be quite interesting. You are 100% correct in that teachers are always working. You just never know when you will run into a student or parent. Teachers definitely have to be on the ball in case of the surprise run ins. You helped me realize that my job to become a teacher is going to be fun yet also a lot of work. I am excited for the future of being a teacher. Thanks for sharing! Please check out our class and my personal student blog. Here are the links: and

  3. okay -- I'm way behind in my blog feed -- but I don't live in the district teach in (I actually never have) and in my limited experience, it's nice to be able to get away from the swarms of students and parents at the grocery store. I do miss being part of that community -- and still try to go to athletic events, concerts, church in the district I teach in.
    However -- I live in the community that my husband teaches in. And that has been whole new experience. When I go for a run or go to the store I am "Coach Keltner's wife". It has been a different experience - his students and athletes know me by my first name and have been able to form great relationships with me as an adult that cares about them -- not necessarily a teacher!

    1. It is nice to get away. Sometimes I ponder which Target or grocery store I will go to if I don't want to chance being seen by someone. It's nice, though, for students to get to see you as a real person. A few students go to our church, so that has been nice for them to see me in that light.

  4. Thought provoking question. I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I am currently taking Dr. Strange's EDM 310 course and was asked to review your blog. I believe that I would enjoy living in the community I teach in. I believe that teachers are the cornerstone of a thriving town. I realize occasionally it will be a bit annoying to be unable to just be out and get things down quickly. The benefit is that you know everyday that student talks with you it is because you reached him. That is a great reward in itself.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Douglas. I apologize for not responding sooner! Good luck in your education endeavors.

  5. I really enjoyed reading this post. Although it may seem a bit intruding into your own life at times, I believe that your students constantly wanting to be a part of your life is very flattering. It shows that you are a huge part of their lives and they want to extend that into other factions of their own lives. As teachers we should work to be good examples for our students, and from reading a little bit about you on your bog I think it is great that they have someone to you to look up to. I am not teaching yet and have not quite settled on the community I will be teaching in, but when that happens I hope to be as a welcome member of that community as you are!

  6. When I was in elementary school, I always remembered seeing my teachers outside of school and I thought it was the coolest thing (at that time). I, also, am a student in the Edm 310 at the University of South Alabama, which is in Mobile, AL. I hope to go back to my hometown. It is not as big as Mobile, but it is growing! I actually love the idea of having the interaction with my students and the guardian outside of the classroom. Being a part of the community gives me a chance to be more involved, to grow that relationship with the guardians, and to have another connection with my students other than 8 to 3.

  7. I know exactly what you mean! I'm a teacher in the community where I live and I also am constantly seeing former or current students/parents. It does make you aware of how you always have to be minding your p's and q's because you just might be being watched by little adoring eyes! It's a bit of pressure at times, but not overwhelming. It's like we have mini-empathy for the celebrities and the paparazzi. Haha!

    I'm in school at USA as well and here is a link to the EDM510 class blog, and, is my own blog. I enjoyed reading your post! Again, I can totally relate!

    1. Totally true. I feel like I have to scan the grocery store!

  8. Hey Mrs. Goerend,
    My name is Ryan Knight; I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama majoring in becoming a future educator. I found your blog post very interesting. I want to become a factor in my future student’s lives, embedding positive traits for the students to remember me by. I noticed as educators the job of a teacher is endless, continuance of gathering knowledgeable resources to help create higher ordered learning within the classroom. It's amazing how educators can make such an impact on younger student’s lives and they will never forget that special person who never gave up on them. I love how you provided a small introduction to what our lives will be like in the near future as educators. I will be sharing some of our interactions that we have on my blog post soon, hopefully you can check out the creative projects my class has done this far.

    1. Hi Ryan,
      Thanks for stopping by. It is amazing how much you learn once you get into the teaching field. I definitely remember some teachers that had a big impact on my life. Hopefully I can be that for some of the students I have.

  9. I love this post because it is true that you will always be a teacher to students, even outside the classroom. You are always an example for students no matter where you are.

  10. Hello Mrs. Goerend,
    My name is Meaghan Gates. I am a student at the University of South Alabama, enrolled in EDM 310. I have enjoyed reading your blog, so I am excited to be offered the chance to comment on it again. I am a Secondary Education major, so you have given me some insight to my future as an educator. When a person decides to become a teacher, it is similar to becoming a local celebrity. You will not be able to go out without running into some who knows you, whether you have taught them or not. The longer you teach, the more people will know who you are. Due to this "fame", a teacher will always have to present the person they want seen by their students.

  11. Hello Mrs. Goerend,

    I am a student at the University of South Alabama taking EDM 310. I really like reading your blogs because they require me to look at things in a different perspective.
    Personally, I would not choose to live in the community I was teaching, a cross between the professional and personal life. I would not feel comfortable answering parents’ questions outside the classroom because I would be managing my personal life, including my family and errands. Outside of the classroom, I have to focus on my family. During school hours, I will be dedicated to my students and their parents. I would be more than happy to schedule parent conferences and phone meetings.