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The Talon

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The Student News Site of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School

The Talon

The Student News Site of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School

The Talon

A Day in the Life of a Teacher: An Interview with Mrs. O’Hagan

Milenn Kini 26’
Mrs. O’Hagan, one of Good Counsel’s dedicated science teachers

“Do you have any favorite teachers?” is probably an easy question for most of you to answer. My classmates around me actively and happily interact with teachers. Unfortunately, this was not the case when I was younger. When I was young, most teachers left the impression of being loud, frightening, and unreasonable, resembling monsters. I did not understand why they would criticize students twenty-four-seven over the most trivial mistakes. Growing up, however, my stereotypes toward teachers have gradually changed by viewing them from a more objective perspective. Today, we have interviewed a Good Counsel science teacher, Mrs. O’Hagan.  Let’s dive into the life of a teacher together. 

The Beginning of the Dream

As a child, many would have dreamed about a variety of future jobs, looking forward to the arrival of adulthood. These seemingly silly little dreams could become real careers that pave the way for our destiny. “Being a teacher was my childhood dream. I enjoy learning, taking in information, and teaching it to others. I like helping others through teaching,” Mrs. O’Hagan recalls how she began her teaching journey. She had already cultivated her interest in learning and teaching, culminating in her decision to become a teacher. 

Mrs. O’Hagan teaches physics and chemistry. Her major in college was chemistry. Out of all the subjects, chemistry appealed to her the most. Everything around us relates to chemistry. “Why do we put salt on the snow?” “Why do we put sunscreen on our skin?” These questions are all explained through chemistry. Mrs. O’Hagan describes her curiosity in chemistry by making connections with our day-to-day lives. 

Entering her first teaching position at GC two years ago was stressful yet rewarding. Because everything was new, it took time and effort to adapt. Extra preliminary work is necessary for a new teacher. To start, she needed to create new lesson plans and learning materials. Although the initial task was arduous, she found it very worthwhile. “Seeing students have fun makes my day,” Mrs. O’Hagan remarks. 

A Typical Teaching Day

Usually, on a school day, Mrs. O’Hagan wakes up between 6:00 and 6:30 am to get ready. She arrives at school at around 8:15 am and begins working. Mrs. O’Hagan has at least two lessons per day. Perhaps you are thinking that teachers get a lot of breaks when they are not teaching, but the reality is the other way around. Their gap time is filled with preparatory work that is even busier than teaching. Grading, setting up lesson plans, discussing with other teachers, ensuring students have all the materials and assignments, etc., are a part of their responsibilities. For instance, the presentations that we always see in class are created by teachers. 

During flex time, lunch, and after school, teachers interact with and talk to students, answering any questions or concerns students may have. Often, teachers supervise make-up tests for students if they miss them. Communication is vital between teachers and students. That way, teachers can respond to their concerns and ensure students catch up with everything.

Beyond academics, what else… 

Like students, many teachers stay after school for clubs and extracurricular activities. Mrs. O’Hagan is engaged in athletics and science. She is the softball assistant coach at GC during the spring season. After school, she attends softball practice, which ends daily at about 6:30 pm. Additionally, Mrs. O’Hagan incorporates her love of science as a moderator for the GC Chemistry Club. The club gathers occasionally to do experiments and share their excitement about chemistry. 

There are various thrilling events at GC, such as sports and musicals. Teachers also enjoy participating in these events. They offer opportunities for teachers to connect with students and support the school community. “I would try going to at least one musical, one play, and one game for each season every year,” Mrs. O’Hagan attempts to adjust her schedule to participate in as many school events as possible. 


Students see teachers as professional and intelligent. Viewing our teachers as models to imitate potentially creates an illusion– the assumption that teachers know everything. Nevertheless, everyone, including teachers, goes through the same learning process. “I’m working on learning effective methods to help my students learn, such as playing games and making projects that apply science to our everyday lives. Because everyone absorbs knowledge differently, it is quite a task to make sure everyone understands,” as Mrs. O’Hagan describes her obstacles. To overcome the challenges, talking to and hearing from students are the key factors. Mrs. O’Hagan collects students’ feedback by making surveys for students to fill out or generally asking about their progress in class so that she can refine specific areas. 


Educational is the word that Mrs. O’Hagan used to describe her journey. The word “educational” is biconditional for both educating students and herself. A lot of times, she discovers that she spontaneously gains and picks up a variety of knowledge from her students. She is teaching lessons to students, and students have become “teachers” for her.

Throughout her teaching journey, Mrs. O’Hagan enjoys developing relationships with students and watching them grow, learn, and have fun in the classroom. “For my students, I think the most important advice is to figure out what’s most important to them and prioritize that,” she says. Like how she achieved her dream of being a science teacher, Mrs. O’Hagan encourages students to explore and follow their dreams.