The student news site of Omaha North High Magnet School

The North Star

The student news site of Omaha North High Magnet School

The North Star

The student news site of Omaha North High Magnet School

The North Star

Teaching at home, in the classroom


At North High School many teachers often live second lives outside of the classroom. For many of the mothers this can often mean being both a full-time teacher and parent. 


According to a survey taken by 44 North teachers, 48 percent double as parents. 


Biology teacher, Mikayla Yanovich is a new mother and has just started her journey of juggling both teaching and parenting.  


Yanovich found out she was pregnant in December 2022 and was excited right away. 


“We [Yanovich and husband] were not really worried,” Yanovich said. “But teaching while pregnant was emotionally challenging.” 


Many mothers find that their hormones change during pregnancy, and they are more likely to become irritated and have mood swings according to 


Yanovich was expecting her baby on August 22, 2023 and had him on August 10, 2023. 


When coming back from maternity leave Yanovich was not necessarily ready to leave her son but was also ready to be back in the classroom. 


“[Maternity leave] is never long enough, but since I am a teacher I will see him all summer,” Yanovich said. 


According to you are eligible for Family Medical Leave of Absence (FMLA) if you have worked with Omaha Public Schools (OPS) for at least 12 months. 


Employees are given 12 weeks of leave during any 12-month period for all circumstances including birth, adoption, foster care or if they have parents with serious health conditions. 


Yanovich’s favorite part of her pregnancy while teaching was sharing her experience with the students.  


“The perks of being a biology teacher is I got to share cool facts about being pregnant with my students,” Yanovich said. 


After having a child Yanovich’s perspective on teaching changed. She feels that she has become more empathetic, compassionate and tenderhearted towards other children and the parents she works with. She is also less harsh on herself now when she makes mistakes and does not take things as personal as she would before. 


“I know that when I get home my baby is going to be happy to see me,” Yanovich said. “Taylor Swift would walk in the room and my baby would not care, but if I walk in the room that’s the greatest thing in the world to him and that’s a cool feeling.” 


Juggling home and work were not always easy for Yanovich, but her strong support system makes it a lot easier. 


“When I miss him, I just ask my grandma and she will send me a picture,” Yanovich said. 


Her teacher peers are also very helpful and understanding when Yanovich has to leave for appointments, or other things she needs to do for her son. 



One teacher specifically was math teacher, Jessica Koch who is also a first-time mother. 


“I learn so much talking to Koch everyday about being a good mom and teacher,” Yanovich said. 


When Koch found out she was expecting, her first reaction was to get sub plans ready and make sure her students were prepared. 


“Before I had a kid, I did not go to a lot of doctors’ appointments, or take many days off, so being pregnant I had too and it added a lot of stress,” Koch said.  


Math teacher, Jenna Hotze, shared a classroom with Koch during this time and they were both expecting. Hotze previously had a child, so Koch was able to reach out to her for guidance. 


“She showed me what I needed to do for sub-plans and who to reach to within human resources to make sure they knew,” Koch said. 


Once Koch had her baby she stopped staying after school as often and made sure to have a work-life balance. 


“I wanted to make sure I got to daycare on time and had enough time with my baby,” Koch said. 


Hotze is a mother of two and struggles sometimes to juggle both home and work.



 “Teaching is a hard job to leave at work, when I go home, I have to be a mom and not Mrs. Hotze,” Hotze said.  


This has taught her that setting boundaries while teaching is important and to focus on only one thing at a time. 


Throughout the school day she often misses her kids.  


“Sometimes when my students act out it reminds me of my toddler daughter throwing one of her tantrums,” Hotze said. 


Hotze took 12 weeks off for her most previous child and loved having the time to just focus on her and create a stronger bond. 


Curriculum specialist Elizabeth Anderson is also a mother of two and trust is a large part of being able to leave her children for work every day.  


“Being able to trust people with your kids is hard,” Anderson said. “When you find good childcare that is great with kids, educational and nurturing, it is a bonus.” 


When Anderson first found out she was pregnant she was not worried about it. Growing up she had a mother who worked so she knew it could be done. 


“It was more exciting than anything,” Anderson said.  


Leaving home every day Anderson must remind herself to separate work from home. Although she misses her kids often, she makes time for her family before school by eating breakfast with them and after school by being with them until the moment she puts them to sleep.  


“Family time is family time and that is something we prioritize,” Anderson said.  



When Anderson was a dean, she found that discipling other kids was harder after she had her own. 


“It hits different when you think about what the appropriate consequences for them would be,” Anderson said. “Like that could be your kids and have to hold them accountable, but also being like fair, understanding and compassionate.” 


Yanovich, Anderson, Hotze and Koch all can not wait to spend the summers with their children but know their support in the classroom is just as important. 


“I often miss my students,” Koch said. “Just as much as I miss my own kid.” 

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Angie Twombly
Angie Twombly, Editor-in-Chief
My name is Angie Twombly, and I am a senior this year. What I am most excited about in Newspaper is creating a solid foundation for future writers of the North Star. A fun fact about me is that a story I produced was published on national news. 

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