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Teachers’ Hobbies Revealed: Discovering the Hidden Talents of Educators

Having hobbies is super important, and teachers spend their free time doing the things that they enjoy.

With twenty four hours in a day, there’s always time for hobbies. Even after teaching for eight hours, teachers dedicate time toward doing the things they love.

Contrary to popular belief, teachers aren’t always grading papers and tests. Many of them have interesting hobbies that most students wouldn’t expect!

Mrs. Cantrell: English Teacher by day, Actress by night.
Before ever becoming a teacher, Mrs. Cantrell had an interest in theater. She started acting during her time in high school.
“I was an ensemble member in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. A friend suggested we try it together,” said Mrs. Cantrell.
When involved in productions, free time can be very minimal, but the final show makes it worthwhile.
“Rehearsal doesn’t start until 6:30 in most cases, so it never conflicts with teaching. During tech week (daily rehearsals where you use costumes, makeup, microphones, lighting, basically show conditions) I can get a little sleep deprived, but that’s really the only issue,” said Mrs. Cantrell

With acting especially, Mrs. Cantrell uses her powerful voice both in and out of the classroom.
“I teach acting and exploring drama, so it definitely helps for those classes. I think I have a nice reading voice, (I also worked in radio for a number of years). I certainly know all about projecting my voice,” said Mrs. Cantrell.

Voice work can be very important in the authenticity of the characters she plays, and she loves having creative freedom.
“I especially loved Gingy in Shrek, Twoey in Little Shop of Horrors, and Mrs. Puff in Spongebob,” said Mrs. Cantrell.

These characters are not the only ones you will catch Mrs. Cantrell performing as, since she has plans to act in shows this summer.
“This summer I will be Madame Armfeldt in A Little Night Music at the Quad City Music Guild in Moline. I’m super excited about that. She’s regal, funny, and is a sort of narrator character to the story,” said Mrs. Cantrell.

Acting has helped Mrs. Cantrell express herself and meet new people. If you feel like you would enjoy acting, reach out to her for questions.
“Hobbies are an important way to find balance in your life. Acting is my way of meeting others and being silly or serious for a few hours, but whatever you love to do, or want to learn to do, go for it. The world needs more art,” said Mrs. Cantrell.

Mr. Begey: From the Sidelines to the Classroom
As an instructional coach, Begey works closely with teachers and students. But during his free time, he enjoys umpiring and refereeing.
“I have been officiating/umpiring/refereeing for 20 years. I began when I was in high school (umpiring baseball and softball for the Little League in the town I’m from) and have officiated off-and-on ever since then,” said Begey.

He realized through his time that opportunities for learning truly are everywhere.
“There are some great parallels between teaching and learning in the classroom and officiating and competing in athletics. Every single contest I officiate, every person involved in the activity is either teaching, learning, or doing both,” said Mr. Begey.

Though he thoroughly enjoys his hobby, the long days can be very draining.
“It usually extends my day from being an 8-9 hour work day to a 12-16 hour work day, and that can be mentally and physically exhausting. Sometimes I work on the weekends, too, but that’s become more of a rarity in recent years,” said Mr. Begey

Not only does Mr. Begey have a passion, referees are constantly needed for sports games of all ages. So if you have any interest, contact him for more information!
“There’s a growing officials shortage in almost every sport (not only in Iowa, but across the United States), so if you like being around the sports you grew up playing or are currently playing, reach out to an official. While there are some upfront costs involved with uniforms, equipment, and certification/training, you’ll almost always make between $20-30 an hour when working contests,” said Mr. Begey

At the end of the day, athletes interact with umpires and refs constantly, so make sure to show how much they mean to you.
“Also, if there’s anyone in your life or around you that officiates (or does something similar) for an avocation, let them know that you appreciate them!” said Mr. Begey.

Mr. Iosbaker: The Triple Threat
Many students know Mr. Oz as the AP Psychology teacher, however he is also an instructional coach, and surprisingly enough, a wedding singer!

Even though many people would never guess, Mr. Oz was very involved in his school’s music department.
“Along with playing 4 sports, I was always involved in choir. I was in All-State choir, show choir, and multiple honor choirs,” said Mr. Oz

His passion for singing led him to many cool opportunities to perform for his friends and family.
“I’ve been singing at weddings since 2010. When I was in high school, some couples asked me to sing at their weddings. From there, I was asked to sing by friends, family members, and random people,” said Mr. Oz.

Even though he enjoys his time performing during weddings, he does find himself repeatedly singing the same song.
“I would say my least favorite song to sing is All of You by John Legend because I was constantly asked to sing it, and I’m obviously not John Legend. Lately, I’ve been singing This is Gospel (piano version) very loudly in my car, but I don’t think that would be an appropriate wedding song,” said Mr. Oz.

Unfortunately, he doesn’t have any weddings booked. But that means his schedule is wide open, so go ahead and contact him to sing at your wedding!
“At this point, I consider myself retired from wedding singing, but would be willing to sing at more if the price is right,” said Mr. Oz.

Mr. Johnson: Educator by Day, Hunter by Nature.
Though this is less of a hobby, and more of a way of life, Mr. Johnson enjoys hunting to provide for his family.
“I grew up in a family, who hunted, fished, and trapped. From riding with my uncles to checking trap lines in the morning to a line in hopes of catching supper or harvesting pheasants for a neighborhood feed, it was all part of our way of life.”

Not only is hunting beneficial for providing meals, it has opened Johnson’s eyes.
“I think I have a greater appreciation for nature than most. The hours spent observing and appreciating the natural world around, truly make you feel connected,” said Mr. Johnson.

Mr. Johnson lives by five rules while hunting solo, or with others.
1. Always, always treat your firearm as though it were loaded and the safe was off.
2. Never point or aim at anything you don’t intend to harvest.
3. Know your tools, inside and out. Keep them clean and check them for issues before going out.
4. Consider what is behind what you intend to harvest before you put your fingertip on the trigger/draw your bow.
5. Only hunt with fellow hunters you know and trust to do the same.

He uses skills and knowledge from his hunting experience to further educate his students. Providing real-life examples shows his passion and love for the sport and education.
“When I taught AP Environmental Science, we discussed the role of the hunter and helping maintain various animal populations. We studied the impact of unregulated hunting before federal and state guidelines existed, and how populations of many species are doing extremely well,” said Mr. Johnson

There are often mixed emotions toward hunting, but it is important to understand the larger picture.
“Not everyone is comfortable harvesting their own food in this fashion, and I respect that. I only asked that those who are opposed respect my decisions and look at my role in the big ecological picture as well,” said Mr. Johnson.

Hobbies are an important part of life, and can be very reliable sources of happiness. If you have any questions about any of these hobbies, feel free to reach out to these teachers. They can help provide you with so much information!

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About the Contributor
Mahayla Martin
Mahayla Martin, Copy Editor
Mahayla is a Senior at MHS. She is the co-president of Key Club, a member of NHS and has been involved with Journalism for 3 years. In her free time she enjoys listening to Frank Ocean, hanging out with her friends and driving around.
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