Teacher Appreciation: Teachers balancing motherhood, career

by Hannah Rains/Staff Writer

In addition to working many hours at school and after school, many teachers also have a family. Balancing both aspects of life can be difficult, but many teachers have found ways to make it manageable.

Mrs. Heather Berrier, biology teacher, explained, “I think balancing work life and family life is something you have to work at no matter what career you choose.”

Berrier also gives herself time to have a little break from everything. She said, “ Giving myself a ‘break’ is something that I struggle with. I like to read at night, which is something everyone in my family does, and I also like to go to a Zumba class once a week.”

She also explained that she and her husband help each other out at home. Berrier said, “My husband and I are a very good team.  We split household chores 50/50 and with having four children we have to drive separately to sporting events at times. We also know the importance of having a date night at least once a month where we are not allowed to talk about work or the stresses of our schedules.”

Among the chaos of handling work and four kids, there are also obviously some bonuses to it.

Berrier said, “My most favorite thing about being a mom is the complete love I feel in my heart.  I did not truly understand what love was until I had my first child. I love watching them succeed and helping them through struggles that I myself went through when I was younger.  There is nothing like coming home from work and hearing my children scream, ‘MOM’S HOME!!!!! and getting pretty much tackled with hugs.”

She said, “There are highs and lows, but it is the best rollercoaster I have ever been on.”

Mrs. Leigh Anne Stringer is the librarian at GC. Stringer said, “The most important thing for me is to be present with my kids. When I leave school, I try to leave work behind. I’m lucky that being a librarian doesn’t involve much work from home-other than reading! Even that can be difficult because I can’t read while they are awake, and by the time they all go to bed, I have to clean.”

She said she’s normally exhausted by the end of the day. Stringer also said she doesn’t really get much time to herself but if she does, then she likes to get pedicures and relax.

Stringer expressed that she has many loves about being a mom. She said “I love to watch their personalities come out. All 3 of them are so different from each other, but it’s great to see them play and grow together as their own people. I never knew how much I could love another person until I had children. It’s an incredible feeling!”

Mrs. Rebekah Cerqua is a science teacher and she as well has many struggles and good times with being a teacher and a mom.

Cerqua said, “I balance being a mom and teacher by trying to separate work from home. I try to leave school work at school, which allows me to focus on my son, Mac, when I get home.”

She said she wants as much time with Mac as possible, so she doesn’t stay at work as late as she used to before she had her child. She likes to take time for herself by getting her nails done at least once a month.

Cerqua’s husband, Mr. Gary Cerqua who is also at the high school, helps out a lot, she explained. “Gary is an all-star and has been from the very beginning. We have patterns set for morning and bedtime that help keep all of us sane. We work together during the day to keep Mac entertained. Mac is a mini-Gary, so they play really well together!”

Clearly, being a mother and being a teacher, or just having a job in general, can be pretty stressful but thrilling all at the same time. These teachers have come up with their own ways of balancing having a family and a full-time job.