Kathy Hitchcock is a businesswoman turned math teacher who has taught for 18 years. She enjoys gardening and has race-walked multiple marathons.
What inspired you to become a teacher?
Even though I’ve been around a long time, I’m also a mid-career changer. I actually was in business for 18 years, plus I have an MBA. I was getting really tired and really bored of it. I didn’t see what the point was. And then as the years went on and as I was getting more experienced, I would always be the person people came to for help explaining and understanding, and I was like, “Hm. Maybe I should look into this”. So I went back to school in my 40s and got a second masters degree for teaching and got my license. I also was a history major in college, but I saw in business how much math people needed, so I decided to become a math teacher because I figured: ‘I didn’t major in math, and if I can do it; other people can too.’
Tell me more about sewing masks. Did you do that for charity?
Yeah, I did. I have three kids, and so I made a bunch for my kids and my partner. I also made some for people here in Brookline, just a few, and then my daughter and I made about 18 masks to send to the Navajo nation and we dropped them off with Ms. Leslie [BHS teacher] in the spring.
What made you want to get into gardening?
You know, I hated gardening when I was a kid. And my dad was always making us do stuff like rake the leaves, mow the lawn, blah blah blah. And I never really enjoyed it. But my partner really likes to garden, so we decided that we’d give it a shot and it turns out I really enjoy it. I also built my own grow lights down in the basement. And I don’t buy plants, I start everything from seeds, so it’s become a pretty big hobby. I grow potatoes, onions, flowers, and tons of vegetables as well.
How many marathons have you run?
Two marathons and one half. And I race walk them, you know? Where your hips are swiveling, and your arms are-you know what I’m talking about? Yeah! That’s what I did. I’m too old for my knees to handle them anymore, according to the doctors. So I said, “Alright, it’s off my bucket list; what else am I going to do.”
If you were to give a piece of advice to a nervous ninth grader coming to the high school, what would you say?
Teachers are not there to judge you. Teachers are here to help you. The sooner you can reach out to them, you’ll find that we’re pretty accessible. The other thing is that when you go for extra help, usually your extra help might take five or ten minutes because it’s a lot easier to explain something one-on-one than it is to a whole class. And also teachers might have different ways of explaining things to you that better fit the way that you learn. But that’s hard. It’s hard for freshmen to reach out for help. But if they can, it’s a whole lot better for them.