How much summer do you devote to teaching?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Backroads, Jun 8, 2015.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Jun 8, 2015

    I keep seeing all these memes and blog posts that I'm sure are meant to be inspiring about how teacher's summers are devoted entirely to work. I can't help but feel a bit weird as mine... aren't.

    How much summer do you schedule for prep work?
     
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  3. mkbren88

    mkbren88 Cohort

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    I usually spend some time but for right now, I'm solely dedicated to my family and enjoying my summer with my kids. I'll start thinking of school the last 2 weeks in July when I head to new teacher orientation at my new district.
     
  4. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    No idea yet. This will be my true first summer (last year I only had a mid-year leave position that ended in March).

    However, while I tend to say to myself that I'll be spending much of my summer in the classroom getting next year ready...my hope is to have it come out to something like 50/50, or perhaps leaning more towards time off versus working on school work. My wife will still be working full time on a changing schedule, so I'll probably go in a few days a week, definitely take the two days that she has off with her, and then play it by ear for the other couple. Then I'll put it all aside at the beginning of August when we take two weeks off together.

    That being said, who knows how it'll work out.
     
  5. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Pretty much none for me. I don't know if it's just me, but I find that so much changes from year to year that it's impossible to do a bunch of planning/prepping during the summer. Every year there are new things that are the "big focus" at school, and I wouldn't necessarily know enough about those things to make plans ahead of time. We also are constantly changing programs/materials/strategies, and we have a high turnover of students, so even though I may have some of the same kids as last year (since I teach multiple grade levels) I certainly don't want to spend a ton of time dedicated to prepping things for them only to find out at the beginning of the year that they didn't return. I've also ended up with at least one unknown high needs student every year who completely changes things once school starts. I usually think about things I'd like to do differently, but I'm not sitting down and actually making materials or lesson plans or anything like that. I feel like if I were to do those things I'd end up having to redo them later due to the various factors listed above. I will start working on physically setting up my classroom before teacher workdays officially start, but we're only allowed in the building a few days before that anyway, so I'm not talking about a big chunk of time. My district offers some PD that we would be paid for, and I totally wouldn't mind going to those, but they told us about them very late in the year and I'd already planned to be out of town.

    I remember posting on here the summer before I taught 3rd grade about being confused about what I was supposed to be preparing during the summer since admin had given me teachers guides for reading/writing/math and also about feeling a little guilty that I wasn't spending a ton of time planning for my new position. A bunch of posters basically told me it was irresponsible and I wouldn't be ready for the year, etc. I am SO glad I did not listen to them, because when I started the year I found out that the district put out a pacing guide for reading and math that we were required to follow and the new admin basically did not want us to use the provided reading and math curriculums at all. There were also school wide discipline rules that I wasn't aware of ahead of time that impacted how I set up classroom management. Essentially, anything that I would have spent time prepping during summer would have been a complete waste of time because I would have to change it all anyway. Even now that I'm going into my 3rd year in the same school/position, I feel like there are too many unknowns to make it worth my time to start prepping now.
     
  6. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Waterfall - you make a great point that it truly is highly dependent on situation. I'm lucky enough to have a position in the same school and same grade next year, and know from others that things stay pretty consistent (and that the curriculum is going to stay the same for next year). However, if I was still hanging in the air, not sure what grade I'd be next year, I'd definitely be 100 times more tentative with my planning, to the point where I'd probably spend 1/10 as much time.

    I definitely feel lucky to be in the position I'm in, especially going into my second full year and needing the consistency to be able to make tons of changes and drive even better student success.
     
  7. a teacher

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    I have never taught summer school and can't imagine doing so. By the same token, I would never devote too much attention to work-related stuff over any break, because I'm burned out each time and need time away.

    That being said, I always find there's something I need to prep, and depending on what my courses will be, I may or may not have a lot of curriculum to write. Since right now I'm looking for a new assignment, I can't do anything until I know where I'll be. At that point, hopefully I'll be able to recycle most of what I've done in the past through modifications and recomposing.
     
  8. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    They make us turn in our laptops, and it's always iffy as to when we can get in our classrooms. The office is entirely locked up as well, so no copying. And no paycheck in July.

    So based on what my school district dedicates to me over the summer, not much.
     
  9. Pashtun

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    I won't spend any time at school until 2 weeks before we return. I do however, use the summer to read about teaching research, strategies....etc. I really enjoy it.
     
  10. Peregrin5

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    Not necessarily prep work, but I do often do a lot of professional development.

    This summer, I will be cleaning out my room and moving to a new room, doing a research internship where I will have to develop a lesson related to industry/research, probably do about 2 weeks of planning, and building some planters for my new classroom.
     
  11. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Can't get into the school at all, so anything I do will be at home. I will do some planning and always do lots of reading, both professional and for pleasure. I read lots of YA books, looking for new titles to use in my classroom. I usually do a couple of professional development workshops, but not sure about that for this year.
     
  12. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Jun 9, 2015

    In June and July, I tend to do school work for a few hours a day maybe 3 or 4 days of the week.

    In August, I spend more time planning.

    I have PD today. I have an entire week of PD in July.
     
  13. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    I work in the summer, so very little. I find that each year is different and I change things based on the needs of my students. The years that I spent a lot of time copying and getting things pre-ready, it was a waste.
     
  14. Koriemo

    Koriemo Comrade

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    Jun 9, 2015

    I know which classes I'll be teaching next year, and I already spent much of our "Teaching Debrief" week getting the first semester roughly planned out. I'm going to be gone on maternity leave the entire second quarter, so I feel like I have to be especially prepared. I have two units that have to be covered first quarter and two units that will be covered by the sub second quarter.

    For the first quarter, I already planned out my assignments and made all my power points for two of the classes I teach. I still have to do that for the third class that I teach.

    I was VERY thankful for having extra time during finals week and an entire week to get next year planned.

    I expect that I'll spend 2-4 hours per week working on getting things ready for next year for the first part of summer. I'll probably finish up those projects before the end of July. I'll head back to school a day or two before everyone else to make seating charts, copy my syllabus, and set up my classroom.

    I'll spend more time doing fun work stuff- browsing pinterest, going to the library, reading teen books, searching for mentor texts, reading PD books, thinking about the state of education in America, and working on sample writing pieces. I love writing, so I try to do every writing assignment before I give it to my students so they have an example. I'm also tutoring 6 hours a week.

    I also have no children, and my husband works all day, so I'm kind of looking for things to fill my time!
     
  15. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    I spent much more time at school or working on school stuff when I was single... But a lot of that was spent on making my classroom more comfortable and organized for myself and the students.

    This year, I will have to spend some time familiarizing myself with the curriculum in the new grade I'll be teaching--and then figuring out what I need to leave for plans for the 6 weeks of my maternity leave (which will be the first six weeks of school). I'll also need to go in earlier to work on setting up the classroom, as my due date is the same day as our first faculty day. :dizzy:
     
  16. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Jun 9, 2015

    I don't work over the summer. As others have said, I will read, browse the Internet for ideas, etc, but I', not going to put in hours over the break. That break is there for a reason -- we need to recharge!

    I am doing 5 days of optional, PAID professional development. I will start working on planning in August and go into my classroom about a week before school starts (we go back 8/14).
     
  17. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Almost none.

    We don't get our teaching assignments or class rosters until one of the 3 inservice days in August prior to the kids coming in.

    By contract, they're supposed to give us our schedule for the next year in May. So, to satisfy that requirement, administration just gives us a copy of the schedule we have this year. Their actions say, "OK, we've met our obligation and we, uhhh...."REALLY" think this will be your schedule next fall (wink-wink). But it's subject to change." That gives them all the wiggle room they need.


    :whistle:
     
  18. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    None. I don't start planning for the year until I have to officially go back to work which is one-week before the school year begins.

    Now, I might spend some time shopping sales and stuff for materials; but I don't like to spend any real time working on work stuff during the summer.
     
  19. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Most summers, nothing unless the principal calls. That does happen some, but it is because I have extra duties as council member and team leader.

    This year I am switching rooms and grade levels, so I will have to do more. I live close to school. I just do things when I want.
     
  20. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    I re-work things (add in stuff I picked up during the year or re-do something that did not work like I wanted) over the summer and try to do this while hubby is at work. I also try to get in some professional development.
     
  21. daisycakes

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    Jun 9, 2015

    the last 2 summers, I've done about 5 weeks full time work. I an moving rooms, but will still probably only do 4 this year. It should go down as you get experience.
     
  22. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Almost none. I have a couple of PDs I'm signed up for, and I chaperon a camp but that doesn't really seem like 'work' but other than that I don't work on school work during the summer.
     
  23. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    It is funny. Reading education blog comments you would think that ALL teachers work ALL summer long getting ready for the next year. I honestly don't know anyone who puts in much time over the summer unless they are going to be teaching a course they are not extremely familiar with or they have training in order to teach AP.

    From what I know, not doing a whole lot (except some PD for licensure), is more the norm.
     
  24. GPC0321

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    It depends. Some summers I've hardly even thought about school from the day I left until the day we had to go back. The past few years I've been more motivated to work on creating new activities and lessons. This summer I figure I'll spend a lot of time because I'm moving up to English 2 from English 1 next year and am also moving classrooms. I've already been planning for next year and have a good head start. I'm hoping that I'll be able to take it easy over the summer, but I kind of enjoy obsessing over my job, LOL. I'm unmarried and childless, so except for taking care of three horses, three dogs, and two cats and keeping my small farm mowed all summer, I have plenty of time to brainstorm and plan. I imagine I'll go out to school a few times over the summer to work on my classroom, but again, that's fun stuff to me. :)
     
  25. elemsped

    elemsped New Member

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    Not much! I am going to a one day seminar and may have to drop another short PD due to a schedule conflict. We don't know how the caseload will be split yet and I am not even 100% I will be at the same school.

    I do plan to organize my resources and enjoy pinning new ideas. I want to make binders by skill for each subject and include extra worksheets I have collected. That way when I get unexpected kids sent to me, I can easily pull out work. I also want to explore some ideas I have pinned but haven't read yet. Other than that, I will wait until I know more about the grade I will teach.
     
  26. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Jun 9, 2015

    Administrators only get 5 weeks off for summer. During that time, I have vacations planned. When I'm not vacationing, I'll be at home watching Netflix with my bf and dog.

    I do plan to paint some dingy walls in my (school) office over the summer, but that should only take an afternoon. I'm in my office from Monday-Friday from 7-4 (sometimes later), so I need it to be a colorful, inviting, and happy place!

    ETA: I'm not in my office for all those hours. :lol: I meant to say that I'm at school all day, but when I'm in my office, I want to see nice scenery.
     
  27. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I'm teaching two weeks of summer school and I plan on getting up with my new team of teachers the first week or so in August.

    That's about it for me!
     
  28. 2ndTimeAround

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    Depends on what I know is waiting for me in August (new preps and such) and how poorly the NC General Assembly is treating us.

    Last summer I did practically nothing.

    This summer I had planned on helping out my district working for no pay to develop resources for a course I don't teach. The district pretty much insinuated I was a cheat (as well as others on my team) and that they do not trust us to work without clocking in. So I decided that giving them my free time wasn't going to happen after all.

    However, I am really excited about making some new stuff for myself for next year and already have a list a mile long for summer work. Spending time with my family is my #1 priority, though. If it comes down to working on vocabulary lists or heading to the zoo, the zoo wins :)
     
  29. RainStorm

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    I spend part of my day each day during the summer organizing and preparing. It makes things so much easier when the year begins.
     
  30. TnKinder

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    I already went to a two day kindergarten conference hosted by my district. In July I will go to a one day training for our new initiative for student growth. So just three day for PD and I will spend about two days setting up my room before our teacher work days start.
     
  31. linswin23

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    Usually, I spend the first few weeks of summer NOT doing any school related business and I certainly don't do anything when I travel. However, I reach a certain point in the summer where I am excited to go back and I start working on stuff. I have to be in the mood, though! Lol. This usually happens after I'm back from vacation ;)
     
  32. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    i feel like I usually spend a chunk of everyday working on something... there's been so much upheaval and change every year with little direction from the DO.

    This year, though, we have some new district-level people in my subject, and they seem very dedicated to providing direction to the teachers. They are currently designing an actual scope and sequence that actually makes sense, so I'm pretty excited about that! I'm working at the DO for a week; I'm going to do a little work on my Vocab and grammar curriculum, and I'm nearly done with inventory in the book room. Then I'm going to beach it for the rest of summer.
     
  33. SleekTeach

    SleekTeach Comrade

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    I can't get into my school until August 1st. Usually I get cool ideas all Summer long and just write them down. If I see something on sale, or some company offering free shipping I'll buy it. If I have a really big project I'll start working on it the first week of August. This Summer I am going to prepare all of my Math Focus boards for the entire year. June and July is all for me to just be lazy and go on vacation for the most part.
     
  34. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    I try to take a couple of hours once a week to do something to make me more organized for next year. This year I am redoing my filing system so the things I've created are filed by standard or unit instead of topic, since some topics are taught multiple times. I am also wanting to use more interactive notebooks next year, so I am compiling a list of which types of foldables go with which topics, so when the time comes, I can prep less.
     
  35. greendream

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    Zero for me. My summer is dedicated to my own children.
     
  36. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    I think that people who spend their time on education blogs are the more likely subset to spend their time working in the summer.

    Same for people on this forum... we're clearly spending our "off time" discussing teaching, so people on here are probably more likely to be doing other teaching-related things outside of the classroom. Maybe?

    I have nothing pressing that I need or plan to get done. However, I sometimes find myself sneaking online and doing things like modifying my classroom website or finding a good reading log for next year. We're getting a ton of new curriculum materials next year, so there's zero planning I can do for that, which I appreciate. I just can't stay away. I'd like to be better about that - I'd like to be able to just turn off my brain and enjoy summer!

    I did order Teach Like a Pirate and plan to read that, preferably somewhere sunny and poolside. :cool:
     
  37. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I try to do a bit each day. I make sure all my monthly calendars are done for each course. Things change, but it helps me see where I'm heading. I try to make sure all materials are prepped too-quizzes, handouts, rubrics, etc... It makes my life easier during the school year.
     
  38. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I take courses to be a better teacher, revisit lessons that I would like to kick up a notch, browse for great ideas, gather free goodies for posters and other class ideas, pilfer other's great ideas, and attend some workshops either in my content areas, or in an area I would like to know more about. I have even spent the last two summers working on learning Spanish. I don't have to have it, but it seems better than watching boring reality shows. I like to learn, and summer lets me do it on my time schedule, for which I am very grateful.
     
  39. Ms. I

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    Sounds fantastic to me too! There's a time for everything. If people want to work their heads off year-round, they can go for it. There's time to relax too (no matter how busy one gets) & it's healthy for mind, body, & spirit.
     
  40. 2ndTimeAround

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    I'm actually getting a bit excited about the opportunity to work over the summer. This past year was crazy busy and I didn't get to create a lot of new things for my students. So I've started bringing some supplies home for me to work with. If I don't get to any of it, no sweat. For me, working over the summer is going to be doing things I WANT to do, not have to do.
     
  41. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    I'm planning to devote several days total - but mostly not whole days, a few hours here and there. I'll be going into my second year teaching 5th grade at a school where we create our own curriculum. This year was actually the first year our grade level existed at the school. I felt like we were playing catch up all year. I'm looking forward to doing some advance planning and pacing this summer.

    I'm also going to two different 3 day PDs, but I'm excited about those.

    My summer is 7 weeks, which I know is short compared to many. 3 of those are a vacation out of state. Another partial week is probably going to be in southern CA. The rest will be a balance of doing nothing and doing work.

    We have keys and can enter campus whenever we want, but I don't plan to do that until a week or so before teacher work days start.

    If I do nothing this summer, I will be in bad shape when school starts.
     

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