5 Minutes With Social Studies Teacher Michael Vereb

Family first

Mackenzie Bunn, News, Opinion, & Media Editor

Sunlight beams in through the windows of room 132. Social studies teacher Michael Vereb spins around in his seat, offering a clear view of what’s behind him. On his window sill sits a photo of his wife, him and his two sons. He rolls his chair aside and proudly presents the picture frame.


“I have two little boys,” he said. “A two-and-a-half year old and a four-month-old. After school, I go and pick them up from daycare, and then we get home like a little bit before 5—and then it’s dinner and playing, bath time and everything else.”


Michael Vereb is new to a lot of things this year, most notably being a father of two (his youngest was born in 2019), followed by teaching Dual Enrollment U.S. History, AP Human Geography and AP Government at Valley. 


Despite the transition from Parkview High School to Valley that Vereb described as overwhelming, his time thus far has been good. Vereb notes how his life has changed since switching schools.


“There’s a big difference location wise. I was commuting like, 40 minutes each way, and now I’m commuting 5 minutes each way—so, I have a lot more time at home.”


For Vereb though, any time at home is welcomed.


“I need to be serious about my time and planning here at school, so I’m not bringing work home and then interrupting time with my family,” he said. “I don’t want to be bringing a lot of work home.”


When he is with them, Vereb and his family walk on Woodgrove’s  accessible property. 


“We also like the Bear’s Den Hike, which is only up and then a mile down,” he said. “That trail was)\ pretty manageable with when we just had the one kid.”


Vereb and his family are outside a fair bit, especially throughout the summer.


“Our neighborhood has a lot of other kids my kids’ age,” Vereb said. “If we’re just playing out in our yard, we’ll have impromptu playdates for like two hours.”


Vereb tries to ensure that he is spending time with his family while simultaneously honoring his contract and obligation to his students. 


Planning blocks are used to their fullest extent, and prioritizing is a staple for Vereb, especially with the preparations that come with teaching new classes.


“They’re mostly new to me, so where as other years as a teacher you’ll have lessons that you’re building on and kind of refining, I am creating.” 


Vereb had no hesitation, however, in saying his main priority is his family.  


“Whenever I’m at home and my kids are awake, I’m with my kids and I want to be present,” Vereb said. “I’m not going to grade until after my kids go to sleep, cause I want to make sure that I’m prioritizing the things that I value.” 


Vereb says he has a difficult time identifying his favorite part of fatherhood since there are so many things going into being a parent. However, milestones such as learning to walk and seeing his son’s language development improve are notable.


“My son’s really, really polite,” Vereb said. “Like, if he wants a thing of milk and I get it, he goes, ‘Thanks, dada.’ That’s really special,” Vereb said. “Or when I go to daycare, and he runs and knocks me over with a hug.”


“My younger son, who’s only a little, little baby, the smiles or the kicking are my favorite. There’s like a calmness about a little baby when they’re sleeping,” he said. “All of those things are super special. And then being able to help be a part of that is remarkable.”