Day in the life of a first year teacher


Yearbook File Photo

In Samuel Duff’s first year of teaching at MSHS, he teaches Social Studies, American Government and U.S. History.

Angela Rowe, Senior Reporter

Many young students believe that teachers’ lives revolve around them and school, but something only teachers themselves can understand is how the work life balance is achieved. As a newer teacher, Samuel Duff has almost nailed it already. 

Starting the day

Duff enjoys starting every morning at 5:30 A.M, when his first alarm goes off. “I actually do yoga first thing every morning,” Duff said. He chooses to start his day with mind and body stretches, which allows him to relax and increase his focus. 

After yoga, he takes a shower to refresh, then will make his morning cup of coffee.This is followed with some breakfast and then more coffee. Around 6:25 a.m., Duff starts to gather his belongings for work, brushes his teeth and get dressed.

Heading to work

“I usually leave at around 6:45 a.m. and I get here at 7:10 a.m.,” Duff said. He likes to arrive at work about an hour before students arrive so that he can get settled into the day. “I make sure that I have all my stuff sorted out for my classes that day,” Duff said. This stuff includes printing papers, preparing the whiteboard and getting all his resources on Canvas settled. 

Once all his classwork is set for the day, Duff likes to take some time to relax. “I go down to the office and check the mailbox, say ‘hi’ to Stacey, fill my water bottle and then if I have time and the weather’s nice, I will go outside and walk laps on the track,” Duff said. As it heads into the colder months of the year, Duff has substituted laps around the track to laps around the school. 

Duff is also a huge fan of soccer. He hopes to coach for the school team eventually and has been taking time before school to watch the 22nd FIFA World Cup. “I see him watching the soccer game every day,” Lawrence Housley, history teacher at Manitou Springs High School, said.

During work 

“I teach social studies, American government and U.S. history classes,” Duff said. Duff gets a change of speed throughout the day as he teaches freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors. As a newer teacher, Duff has seen to be doing well and has left a good impression on other teachers in his department. “I think Duff is a very cool, nice man,” Housley said. 


“I do have students come in, have fun and be loud. I typically do my own thing and watch soccer,” Duff said. He feels lucky to have a 3rd period plan period, so if he ever needs more time he has access to it. He typically has a light snack including some fruit, a granola bar and a large bottle of water for lunch. Then, he will have a big snack once he arrives home.

After school

Duff likes to wait 15 to 30 minutes before leaving campus to ensure no one needs help. He makes sure he has his checklist covered for the day, and that he doesn’t leave without something important. “Usually the first thing I do is work out, whether it’s going to the gym or a field,” Duff said. Physical health is very important to Duff, so he makes sure to do yoga in the morning and an exercise after work. When the weather is nice and he wants a change of pace, Duff will go to an empty field and do dribbling or juggling drills. 


“I’m big on organization and preparation, so I go grocery shopping on Sunday, and I will plan out every meal,” Duff said. Going out to eat is a rare occurrence for Duff as he loves to cook. He takes advantage of planning out all of his meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the week, then will make weekly grocery trips to ensure he has all the ingredients he needs. 

“I like pasta,” Duff said. Being someone who loves to cook, he will never turn down a good pasta dish even if it means going out. Whether it is alfredo, marinara, cream base, penne or fettuccine, Duff loves a hot bowl of pasta.

Ending the day

After starting the day early and having an event filled day, Duff will often unwind for a couple minutes. Then he heads to brush his teeth and get ready for bed. “I also prioritize my sleep a lot more,” Duff said. Being energized for the next day is very important to Duff so he makes sure he gets eight hours of sleep by heading to bed at 9:45 p.m..