More than a hobby

In a surprising turn of events, teachers have interests outside of school


Carolyn Stocki / Legacy Media

Spanish teacher Donna Meredith has always admired Celine Dion and the love with her students.

While it may be easy to believe that teachers only exist at school and simply disappear once the day is over; the truth is teachers have interests outside of school.
Spanish teacher Donna Meredith is passionate about singer Celine Dion.

“I’ve been to nine concerts,” Meredith said. “One in Houston and eight in Vegas. Last summer I sat on the aisle and she held my hand and sang to me and my husband treated me to a VIP package.”

With songs in French, English and even a couple in Spanish, Celine Dion is the perfect singer for Meredith, who is also certified to teach French, although that is not the only reason for her appeal.

“She’s a diva without trying,” Meredith said. “She doesn’t care about the limelight, she’s just doing her job. She doesn’t get wrapped up in the celebrity world and I admire that. I like how she’s kind to her fans.”

According to Meredith, with a 30-year career under her belt, as well as being a Cystic Fibrosis Canada’s Celebrity Patron, Celine Dion definitely has staying power, but musicians are not the only thing that interest teachers.

“I’ve been to two penguin exhibits,” dance teacher Lauren Rodgers said. “One was in Chicago and I got to pet one. It’s a family thing, we all love them.”

For some teachers, their obsessions are not only out of love, but can be beneficial to mental health as well, according to English teacher Janet Clarke who collects Toby mugs.

“Sometimes teachers can become obsessive for instance, if a student is not doing well, we get tied in and obsess about it,” Clarke said. “It’s mental health, like basket weaving.”

Toby mugs are cups that were used in pubs in Britain. They are made of porcelain and are made to look like people, real or literary. They are no longer used in everyday pubs, but currently are used as decoration.

“I probably have 12,” Clarke said. “All of them but one are male and very few women are on Toby mugs. I am currently looking for Jane Eyre.”

Aside from the mental health benefits, collecting something or being absorbed in a person or thing can even bring money in the future.

“For some people it can become a career,” Clarke said. “But I just get what I like.”