Top of the Morning: How NAHS Teachers Jump Start Their School Day


Mr. Lundy and Melody enjoying their daily walk around the park – getting a fabulous start to the day.

Students are all too familiar with their habitual school morning routine, but what about teachers? They also have routines to prepare for the school day – and teachers tend to have a much longer school day to prepare than the students they teach. Preparation for such a day requires personal maintenance to kick-start their productivity. At NAHS, teachers have their morning schedules down to a science, even if they teach literature. 

Mathew Lundy, the beloved IB Literature teacher, starts his day at the crack of dawn, waking up at 5:30 am. Showering is a big part of waking him up in the morning. Every morning he looks forward to walking his Basset Hound Melody in Piedmont Park and enjoying the fresh air – it’s a morning ritual. Lundy’s morning routine is not possible without having a cup of coffee. Most mornings, he will incorporate a Starbucks coffee run into his regimen, ordering a Venti Cold brew. “If I end up going to Starbucks, I will get a sandwich for breakfast,” he said. “I also love a good breakfast burrito. Hearty breakfasts are necessary for me to thrive.” 

David Erhman is a Calculus Teacher. He wakes up between 6:15-6:30 am. He kicks off his mornings by caring for his cats and cleaning their litter boxes. Erhman also appreciates a cup of coffee in the morning alongside some cereal, nuts, and or berries. In addition, he sticks to an extensive exercise schedule that consists of running Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and going to the gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On days that Erhman runs, he will get to school at 7am, and if he comes from the gym, he will arrive at around 8am. Junior Avery Braswell has seen him multiple mornings. “One morning, I was driving, and there was a man [whom she later determined was Mr. Ehrman] running by the field toward the parking garage,” she said. “He was running in the middle of the road, and I had to swerve so I didn’t hit him.”    

Perfecta Valenzuela, North Atlanta’s IB Math teacher, gets an early start to the day and wakes up at 5:30. When Valenzuela wakes up, she likes to fix breakfast and make to-go lunches for her and her husband. Her usual breakfast includes toast, avocado, and spinach. Students aren’t the only ones guilty of occasionally oversleeping, so do some teachers, including Valenzuela. When woken up by the alarm, she turns it off and returns to slumber; however, her husband eventually wakes her, ensuring she isn’t late to school. She gets to school at 8:00am. “When I arrive at school, I like to prepare for my first class,” she said. “I will organize all my lessons for the long day ahead.” 

Although students have their routines, teachers require just as much morning prep time, maybe even more so. In addition, teachers host tutorials at least once a week (sometimes twice), making their days even longer. The support teachers provide is tremendous, looking out for students and sacrificing their personal time to help us learn and grow. Teachers at North Atlanta are superheroes powered by yummy breakfasts and lots of coffee!