Teacher by Day, Summit Tacos Server by Night


Photo courtesy of Haley Weeks

Sitting in the small gym Vincent Redding uses his plan period to help sub a PE class. Now that Redding has gone half time he has time to sub and do playful poses for the camera.

Teachers nationwide have so much going on with over hundreds of assignments to grade weekly, different lesson plans to create, being happy and motivated to greet and teach students. Teachers often get overwhelmed and mentally drained. Taking a step back from teaching can be just the right thing.

Vincent Redding has taken on a new chapter in his life. The 2022-23 school year marks the beginning of his half time school year schedule. After eight years of teaching Math full time at Silver Creek, Redding has decided to make a change and take a mental break.

Teacher burnout is a serious issue. It can cause teachers to feel drained and overly stressed about work. An article on Talkspace defines it as “a condition in which an educator has exhausted the personal and professional resources necessary to do the job.” Sometimes teachers need a break to be able to gather themselves and their mental health.

“I was struggling to admit that I needed some kind of mental break. I used
[a counseling graduate program] as a way out.” Redding said. “Ultimately I needed a break and that should have been the reason for going half time.”

Many students rely on teachers for their help and support. Teachers may feel like they don’t have the time for themselves or their school needs. After going half time, Redding felt less stress and happy to fulfill his role as a math teacher and a support for students.

Redding disperses his time more effectively with teaching, club meetings and now he has also started taking up different career options and fun activities. Redding is a large advocate for LGBTQ students at Silver Creek and has started the Gender-Sexuality Alliance (GSA). Going half time has made it so that he can only host the club meetings twice a month. Although he does stay in weekly communication with the LGBTQ sponsors. After this transition Redding has realized that the GSA attendance has stayed consistent throughout the past few years which is great news because students have still felt Reddings support through the adjustment of half time teaching.

Additionally, Redding has begun his serving job at Summit Tacos which is located on the corner of 3rd and Collyer Street. Redding has a bright and energetic personality which pairs greatly with Summit Tacos fun and upbeat restaurant style.

“The high energy, fun co-workers, and pleasant customers make it a great way to interact with people outside of school.” Redding said. “If you have never been you should definitely swing by!”

The option of working at Summit Tacos and teaching gives him the amount of flexibility he needs to prioritize himself. Redding is much happier now that he has switched to half time. The balance between his school life and home life are finally starting to feel satisfactory.

“The negative outlook of having to come in and grade papers and create lesson plans is no longer there.” Redding says. “Even when I come in on my off days and sub, teaching and grading doesn’t feel stressful anymore. It’s something I want to do now.”

After taking a step back, Redding has finally felt happy in his teaching. The pressure that teaching can have on a teacher is extremely stressful and is mentally straining. Taking a break can be a wonderful chance to strengthen your mental health and become the support system you want to be for your students.