Tim Loveless: Part-Time Teacher, Full-Time ParentWednesday, May 30, 2012 By Brenna Ori
A man leans over his desk correcting papers for the next day. Behind him is a wall of photos. Three small children look out, eternally smiling and laughing. In a few hours he will switch gears from teacher to parent. Tim Loveless looks up at the pictures every so often, but for now he has other kids to worry about, namely the juniors and seniors in his history classes. His students enjoy his class; laughing at the frequent jokes Loveless cracks to recapture their attention. Loveless keeps his classes relatively relaxed and informal giving the older students the chance to take responsibility for their learning. He knows how important high school is. After all, it was in high school that he was inspired to become a history teacher. “My favorite teacher was my history teacher Mr. Downing,” Loveless said. “He was probably the smartest guy I had ever met and I knew I wanted to be just like him.” Now Loveless is allowed to show off his own smarts before his students while also creating a bond with them. This is one of the main reasons Loveless likes teaching. Through teaching he is able to get to know his students, and because they’re older, he is able to develop relationships and shape their intellects. “Kids under 15 are pretty stupid. You can’t treat them like people,” Loveless joked. Despite the relaxed atmosphere, he feels some pressure. This year Loveless was reduced to part time only, teaching four classes instead of six. This has resulted in a significant pay cut. Although he has been reduced to part-time, Loveless is still a part of Wilson High School’s Model United Nations (MUN). In MUN, he acts as an advisor to the students, coaching them for the MUN Conference. “The best part of MUN is that the club is really run by the high schoolers,” Loveless said. MUN is one of the reasons why Loveless teaches because, through MUN, he is able to help educate students to become more informed citizens about the world around them. Thankfully, there are some perks that come with working fewer hours. “I get to be at home when my oldest daughter Elizabeth comes home from kindergarten,” Loveless said. “Overall it’s nice to have more time to spend with my kids.” He hopes that next year he will be able to teach full time. Still, the pay cut looms large. At home, he takes care of the kids and gets them ready for bed alone. His wife works as a math tutor and leaves for work when he comes home. This leaves them little time to spend with one another. Loveless has done several things to ease the financial burden, which, coincidently, keeps him healthy. One of these things includes biking to work instead of driving. “Gas is really expensive, this way I get exercise and save money,” Loveless said. Another thing that he does in his spare time is gardening. Now that he is working part time he is able to spend more time cultivating his vegetables. Although he says he doesn’t like it, Loveless can spend time with his kids who can help in the garden. His children usually help by dictating what vegetables (and berries) are grown there. Loveless is practicing the balancing act of being a working parent in an education system whose budget is continually being slashed. Although the financial times are tough after being reduced to part-time, he is still able to do the two things he loves most: being a parent and a teacher.