Long commutes make for longer teaching days

Jaan Jaime, Staff Writer

Unlike many students, teachers that do not reside in Stockton may find themselves facing a strenuous, gas-guzzling commute when commuting to and from Bear Creek every weekday.
CP English teacher and Link Crew coordinator Ryan Miller commutes to work from Sacramento everyday.
The nearly 50-mile drive takes approximately 48 minutes, forcing Miller to wake up at 5 a.m. and to leave home around 6:20 a.m. However, Miller views the early start to his day as a positive.
“I find that the earlier I start my day, I find myself to be more productive throughout the day,” Miller said. Miller says that he doesn’t mind the long drive because teaching at the Creek gives him the privilege of working with the best kids he could ever ask for.

It’s one of the few times of the day where [I can think], ‘Was I at peace today?’
– CP English teacher Ryan Miller

Contrary to being annoyed by the long commute, he uses the time to reflect on events of the day.
“It’s one of the few times of the day where [I can think], ‘Was I at peace today? Was there anything I could have done differently in the classroom?’” Miller said.
AP US History and 12th grade AVID teacher Heather Blount also navigates a prolonged commute from her home in Modesto — roughly 31 minutes away. Despite living far from her job, Blount says she is motivated to come to work every day.
“I get to work with some of the brightest and [most] awesome kids I have ever seen,” Blount said. “Sometimes students come to me with facts regarding WWII or new innovative ideas that surprise me every single day.”
But not all teachers are willing to spend so much time behind the wheel each day.
English teacher Grace Morledge — who lives in Pine Grove, approximately 10 miles East from Jackson — has had various carpool partners over the years for her commute to Bear Creek.
Instead of making daily round trips, Morledge rents a room from former administrator Betty Liske who lives off of the Miracle Mile, transforming the hour and fifteen minute commute into a quick 15 minute drive. On Tuesday and Thursday evenings, Morledge drives back to Pine Grove.
However, Morledge says she loves the job regardless of its distance from home, from “the kids to the conversations to the range of points of views.”
Devyn Inong contributed to this article.