Every teacher has their roots, whether it be within the field they teach or not. For math teacher Aaron Kalb, his field was a baseball diamond.
After a stint playing minor league baseball, Kalb coached at Raritan Valley Community College in New Jersey.
“I actually went into coaching originally. I was coaching college baseball,” Kalb said. “When I had my first daughter, I decided to switch my career because college baseball wasn’t paying the bills.”
While coaching baseball, Kalb took the first steps to becoming a teacher.
“Initially, while I was coaching, the first place that I taught at was a place called Bonnie Brae School, which was a mental health facility,” he said. “[It had] a lot of kids that were struggling, and didn’t have a lot of family support.”
After teaching at Bonnie Brae, Kalb continued his teaching career at Oklahoma Panhandle State University
“I taught some classes: college algebra and biostatistics type classes,” Kalb said. “That’s when I actually started teaching high school [and] when my daughter was born.”
As well as being a teacher, Kalb has many responsibilities at home too.
“When I come home, any opportunity that I would have, [since] I have kids, to get work done kind of just immediately stops,” Kalb said, referring to his responsibilities caring for his children. “It’s hard to balance the work and life aspect of it as well, when you do have young kids at home.”
Kalb said teachers have had to adjust what they teach to address gaps in students’ memories caused by virtual learning.
“The hardest part about being a teacher is there’s not enough time in the day to get everything done,” Kalb said.
While students rarely see the work done behind the scenes, being a teacher is more than giving lectures in front of students. For many, it requires planning and time management in order to ensure a productive day with students learning to the best of their ability.
But Kalb said the methods he uses to aid his students differ from that of some other teachers.
“I don’t consider myself disciplinary at all,” Kalb said. “I find that [people] need to learn and make their own mistakes, and that’s how I learned.”