Teachers collaborate, problem solve, share lessons

Katelin Johnson, staff writer

When Tammy Petzold gave birth to her second child four months ago, she had to drastically change her schedule.

And that change came in the form of a job share.

Petzold and Karen Wilcox are English teachers. Petzold said job sharing generally happens in elementary school, where the teachers will switch off days or parts of the week.

Wilcox and Petzold collaborate, problem solve, share lesson plans and communicate student expectations.

Petzold said the reasoning for the change was to spend mornings with her two daughters; they are the ages of 2 and four months.

Wilcox teaches the morning honors English classes, and then takes off to teach college composition classes at Great Falls College – MSU. She also teaches at Park University at Malmstrom Air Force Base and works with the Veterans Upward Bound Program.

Wilcox said that teaching college and high school is a good balance. She said she gets fired up when she learns something at high school and takes it to college or vice versa.

In the afternoon, Petzold teaches three classes, two regular and one honors. Petzold said the job share is a real help, she likes how she still gets to be involved in her professional career. She also gets to be a type of homemaker; it’s the best of both worlds.

“If I could afford it, I would job share until my kids are in school,” Petzold said.

It’s more important to have time with her kids than earn extra money, she said. She plans to go full-time again next year.

“I love teaching here at CMR. I love the students and people I work with.”