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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Ask a Teacher - What do you do all summer?

Summer break is upon us and as such, our resident teacher from Teaching Ain't for Heroes answers the age-old're a teacher, what do you do during the summer months?


Okay, it's not quite time for my summer break, but I'm close (TWO DAYS)! A lot of parents wonder what teachers do over summer break.

My summer break this year will be just less than two months thanks to a full week after students get out where teachers will attend meetings. In that time, I have some teacher-y things to do before the new school year starts. I have a requirement to get 24 hours of Professional Development (PD) according to the Kentucky Department of Education. Six of the hours are provided by the school right before students return. The rest is up to me to find on my own, though some PDs are strongly recommend either by the school or the district. I generally get more than 24 hours just because there are interesting sessions I want to attend. We used to get paid for additional hours, but that's generally not the case anymore unless your specific school is footing the bill, at least in my district.

My school offers a 12 hour retreat, broken up over two days, that will make up the bulk of my required hours. The other six hours will be an English PD about integrating science and social studies readings into the English/Language Arts classroom.

This summer I'm also adding in coaching as my coworker who used to coach track and cross country is moving schools. Back in April I ran my very first (AND LAST) full marathon and earned the label of "runner" despite never running track or cross country. Ever. I stepped into the role and will be leading morning running practice for my student athletes.

Since I'm a coach now, I'm taking extra PD hours for CPR training and a course called Fundamentals of Coaching that helps with how to not injure your student athletes and what to do if they end up injured anyway.

In the past, I've taught summer school and an extra program for incoming freshmen called Summer Bridge. This is my first year in four years that I won't be doing either of those things. Instead, I'm taking a vacation with my family to the beach and enrolling my own kids in summer school. I caught a little grief for choosing swim lessons over teaching opportunities, but at some point I have to put my own children first. They love swim lessons and I just shelled out some serious cash to join a local pool. I have wonderful plans to go there every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for swim lessons and enjoy glorious naps for my nearly two year old when we return. We'll see how that works out. I'd like to get a few zoo visits in as well.

I try to cram all the fun stay at home mom activities that I can into the summer. I always attempt the same for winter break, but it's always too cold and dreary. In the summer, it's always so hot and melty, but I can usually fit some fun things in before high noon hits.

The summers always feel short and rushed. I have the added bonus of needing to complete and upload 12 weeks worth of activities and curriculum before the summer is over. This will slip away from me and I'll forget until the first week of August, but it will be a dark storm cloud threatening my summer. Before I know it, it will be time to welcome my new batch of freshmen and make way for my brand new challenge of now teaching sophomores as well. This summer hasn't started and I've already planned most of it away.


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