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Super teachers, super moms

This year, four faculty members gave birth, exposing them to the life of motherhood and teaching.

The+Cathedral+Catholic+community+includes+a+variety+of+teachers.+Some+grading+papers%2C+giving+lectures%2C+and+encouraging+students+but+also+feeding+babies%2C+changing+diapers%2C+and+calming+toddlers.+These+extraordinary+women+continue+to+learn+day+by+day+how+to+balance+being+a+super+teacher+and+a+super+mom.
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Super teachers, super moms

The Cathedral Catholic community includes a variety of teachers. Some grading papers, giving lectures, and encouraging students but also feeding babies, changing diapers, and calming toddlers. These extraordinary women continue to learn day by day how to balance being a super teacher and a super mom.

The Cathedral Catholic community includes a variety of teachers. Some grading papers, giving lectures, and encouraging students but also feeding babies, changing diapers, and calming toddlers. These extraordinary women continue to learn day by day how to balance being a super teacher and a super mom.

Infographic by Eugenia Dominguez-Chaires

The Cathedral Catholic community includes a variety of teachers. Some grading papers, giving lectures, and encouraging students but also feeding babies, changing diapers, and calming toddlers. These extraordinary women continue to learn day by day how to balance being a super teacher and a super mom.

Infographic by Eugenia Dominguez-Chaires

Infographic by Eugenia Dominguez-Chaires

The Cathedral Catholic community includes a variety of teachers. Some grading papers, giving lectures, and encouraging students but also feeding babies, changing diapers, and calming toddlers. These extraordinary women continue to learn day by day how to balance being a super teacher and a super mom.

By Eugenia Dominguez-Chaires, Cathedral Catholic High School

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Cathedral Catholic English teacher Mrs. Allison Collins never thought twice before returning to teach after not one, but two baby girls.

“I love being a mom and a teacher,” Mrs. Collins said. “I’ve gained a whole new perspective on what motherhood and teaching actually means.”

Many challenges requiring immense patience and energy characterize the teaching profession. Trying to be the best possible teacher in the classroom is a tough job involving behind-the-scene actions many students neglect to recognize.

However, CCHS classrooms exhibit not only teachers who grade papers, give lectures, and encourage students, but also mothers who feed hungry babies, calm crying toddlers, and read bedtime stories, making them super moms by any definition of the word.

Women who excel professionally and personally pervade the CCHS community. In the last year and a half, four CCHS teachers have given birth and then returned to their beloved teaching.

CCHS admissions associate Mrs. Kayla Tucker recently gave birth to Kennedy Ann Tucker, a baby girl. Working at CCHS remained relatively easy during the initial months of her pregnancy, but demands increased in difficulty as the due date grew closer.

“In the end, it was a little harder just because my body was really starting to feel tired,” Mrs. Tucker said.

During her pregnancy, Mrs. Tucker adopted various tips and tricks to improve her parenting.

“Parenting is hard, but so worth it,” Mrs. Tucker said. “The first few weeks are really challenging because all your baby does is eat, sleep, and cry.  You start to wonder if it’s all worth it, but then they smile at you for the first time, or baby talk, or laugh, and all of that hesitation and fear goes away.”

Mrs. Tucker returned to CCHS community during finals week to continue balancing work and mom duties.

Mrs. Tucker is not alone.

CCHS math teacher Mrs. Angela Chung welcomed her baby boy, Josiah, one year ago.

“For the most part, teaching was a nice distraction that helped keep my mind off of all the aches and pains that come with pregnancy,” Mrs. Chung said. “I enjoyed feeling productive. I also had a lot of support from our faculty, administrators, staff, and my wonderful students.”

Yet, despite serving as a supportive distraction at times, being a mom and a teacher can be quite challenging, according to Mrs. Chung. During the challenging times, Mrs. Chung always makes sure to fall back on her faith.

“The Lord loves and delights in mothers,” Mrs. Chung said. “He will always be there to help both the mother and the child through each day.”

Motherhood has transformed Mrs. Chung’s perspective on teaching, allowing her to see her students as other people’s babies.

As Mrs. Tucker and Mrs. Chung navigated their ways through their first pregnancies, Mrs. Collins was entering her second pregnancy. With her two baby girls, Delaney Collins and Cassidy Collins, at home, Mrs. Collins struggles at times with being a new mom and teacher.

“It’s really hard balancing teaching and being a mom,” Mrs. Collins said. “I always feel like there is more that I could do for both my students and my own kids. But there’s only so many hours in the day, and at some point, I have to be content knowing that I’ve done the best I can.”

Teaching while being a new mom provides valuable future lessons.

“When I see students at our school put so much pressure on themselves, I think about how I want to lessen that stress for my girls when they grow up,” Mrs. Collins said. “Having children has definitely made me more compassionate and understanding toward my students.”

Eventually, there comes a point where, as mothers and teachers, one learns to balance the duties that both jobs require. Mrs. Collins believes being kind to yourself and getting a good travel mug for coffee are essentials to success in balancing her continuous job.

Similarly, the most recent CCHS faculty staff member and newly turned mom is CCHS English teacher Mrs. Brittney Cairns, who gave birth to Maverick Cairns, a healthy baby boy, on Dec. 2.

“Being around my students during my pregnancy was such a memorable experience that will always stay close to my heart,” Mrs. Cairns said.

Despite feeling extremely tired, Mrs. Cairns managed to stay with her students until the last day of break.

“Wobbling around a campus like CCHS with a baby should really be considered an Olympic sport,” Mrs. Cairns said. “Even though it was hard, I am just so excited to finally be able to spend time with my baby.”

Learning to take care of a baby is no easy job. However, these women do it because it is their passion in life.

In today’s society, more and more women are likely to work after giving birth. In the early 1970s, approximately 45 percent of women worked after giving birth, compared to the 60 percent in 2005, according to The Washington Post.

Women in today’s world are ambitious and motivated to build careers and to excel at motherhood.

“Working moms are definitely more common in today’s society,” Mrs. Chung said. “Although it is definitely still challenging to be a working mom, policies like maternity leave do help women continue to work after giving birth.”

This story was originally published on El Cid on January 17, 2019.

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