Working (out) after hours: teachers stay active outside of school


Katie Stanek//The Scroll

Spanish teacher Emilee Chesnut smiles as she performs split squats on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Chesnut, along with other teachers, chooses to dedicate her few hours of free time to work out.

After an exhausting school day, some teachers go home, close the door and collapse on the couch. Others choose to push past the fatigue and better their minds and bodies through exercise.

Elizabeth Kirby, an Algebra II teacher, keeps active with volleyball and hot yoga classes.

“The heat is high [in the studio], and the humidity is high. The yoga room is 105 degrees and 40% humidity; it’s so lovely,” Kirby said.

While partaking in a sport or organized activity is one way teachers can remain active, another option is going to a gym to receive professional coaching.

Jan Waller, a contemporary issues and world history teacher, is a personal trainer at Klein Fitness. Waller works out whenever he can, citing mental benefits as one of the reasons to exercise.

“It actually is a balance for me, because sometimes teaching, or any job in and of itself, can be so stressful. So when I work out, a lot of times, it’s just a stress release,” Waller said.

Teachers can also accomplish fitness goals by structuring their own workout routines. Emilee Chesnut, a Spanish teacher, is a prime example. Chesnut posts workouts and recipes on her Instagram fitness profile.

“I created the page last summer to keep myself accountable… I knew that I was posting in it, it could motivate me and hopefully motivate others,” Chesnut said.

Kirby, Waller and Chesnut have different approaches to the same goal – to live their best lives. “Being active is important because it’s a lifestyle,” Kirby said. “You want to stay healthy.”