Your summer responsibilities

Discussion in 'General Education' started by muxziem, Apr 11, 2016.

  1. muxziem

    muxziem Rookie

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    Apr 11, 2016

    I am a pre-service teacher. I have been accepted into two different master's/credential programs, and I will be entering one of them this fall. I am at the present trying to gather more information about the teaching profession.

    Among the things about which I am curious is what I can expect over the summer. What do you do over the summer? What does your school or your district require you to do? How much time do you spend working, and how much time do you get to yourself? I am well aware that it is definitely a myth that teachers get summers off, but I am very interested in knowing what I can expect the summer months to hold for me.
     
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  3. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Apr 12, 2016

    Oh no, we get summers off. I don't think it's a myth.
    We are not required to do anything other than show up usually 2 days before school starts for meetings and working in the classroom (paid) That's it.
    We can go in to work or clean or organize if we want most of the days during the summer, sometimes there are training we can sign up for (2 years ago i did that for 2 training, 3 days each, it was good extra money). We can sign up for summer school, I actually like subbing at the juvenile hall, easy money easy work, I can work whenever I want to, which is 2-3 days / week. This way I still have lots of free time but I also make extra money.
    But all this is optional, nothing is required.
     
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  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Apr 12, 2016

    I agree. Summers are yours. Many teachers use the summer for optional professional development, teaching summer school or development courses, traveling, etc. However, I think a great many teachers work a second job in the summer to make ends meet.
     
  5. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    No obligations other than what I put on myself in regards to planning or PD. In theory, I could walk out of the building the last day of school and not think about it again until I return the week before students begin.
     
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  6. Reagan

    Reagan Rookie

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    Apr 12, 2016

    The myth we don't get summers off is a myth spread by workaholics.
     
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  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I have my summer off. I privately tutor a bit (my flip flop and margarita money! :))
     
  8. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Pretty much. I see these blog posts and articles spread around making it sound like every teacher works 15 hours a day during the summer. I'm sure some do, but it's by no means a rule. My contract ends at the end of May and doesn't start again until mid-August. I have no contractual obligations during the summer. I put in some school work, but it's by no means a responsibility.
     
  9. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Agreed with those who said that yes, we do get summers off! I usually spend (or plan to spend) a few hours at the beginning or end to plan ahead, prepare my syllabi, etc, but usually I just end up hanging out on this forum and "getting ideas" :)
     
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  10. cupcakequeen

    cupcakequeen Comrade

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    Apr 12, 2016

    My district offers a few professional development opportunities, but they are not required and are also limited to a very small number of participants so I haven't done any yet. Two required workdays and one required professional development day right before school starts, but that's it. Most of my fellow teachers spend their summers relaxing and a few work second jobs. A few come in for a day or two over the summer and do big projects like paint their room, or move if their are switching grade levels/rooms.
     
  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Apr 12, 2016

    I chill out with my family and take vacations.

    This year I am in a new position that gives me some "add-on" days. Basically, my teaching contract is extended by 10 days. I can take these days whenever I want, so I'll be taking most of them at the end of the year to close everything. Beyond that, I plan to think about school exactly not at all.
     
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  12. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    In my position (assistant principal), I only get 4 weeks off. I have two different vacations planned. In between those two vacations, I'll be hanging out at home in shorts and a tank top.

    The head honchos normally give us two books to read during our time off. We have a book talk at the end of July when we return from vacation.

    ETA: I will also be hanging out on here!
     
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  13. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Surely hanging out on a teacher site counts as work!
     
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  14. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Apr 12, 2016

    During my first couple of years I've spent a considerable time planning lessons and units during the summer. of course that was just something I wanted to do, it wasn't required. Now I have these things in the back of my mind, so usually the week before school starts I sit down and put it all together, and that's enough for the fall semester.
    Sometimes if the mood strikes and I feel like I got a great idea I write it down, but that it. It doesn't feel like working.

    This summer I plan on spending lots of time in nature and not really worrying about school until it's time. Last year by the time school started, I was ready, mentally, emotionally and in every way. I had my batteries recharged.
     
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  15. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Apr 12, 2016

    Last summer, beyond my additional time that I spent (by my own accord) on professional development / preparing for this year, I did have to move classrooms. While this could've waited until the week before school, when we come back, I knew that the classroom would not be as set and I would not be as prepared without starting the setup before that. I probably put in somewhere between 2 and 4 days extra in tear down, moving, then set-up and rearrangement (in 80/90 degree temps, at that!) over the summer. For this reason, those teachers moving two years in a row get one day additional compensation.
     
  16. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I spend on average five hours a week on work during the summer. Some of it is required (meetings and PD) but most of it is on me. In order for my year to go as smoothly as possible, I need to put in extra time during the summer. We don't get teacher workdays any longer so I pretty much do whatever is necessary to keep my head above water during the school year. Most of the new things I try are things I've created/found/modified during the summer.
     
  17. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Agreed. It depends on what you inflict upon yourself. For instance I might be working a full time job over the summer for 8 weeks that's related to teacher PD. I also am planning on like 3 or 4 other PD opportunities. But that's because I get super bored if I have nothing to do, and decide to work my butt off (and I get paid REALLY well).

    My district/school doesn't require anything, though you can volunteer to help during registration or something.
     
  18. shoreline02

    shoreline02 Cohort

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    Apr 12, 2016

    Is anyone else required to completely take down their room every year? We are required to take everything out of our room at the end of each school year. I heard it is to prevent teacher hoarding, plus we are a transient school and tend to change rooms a lot.
     
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  19. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Apr 12, 2016

    Yes.
     
  20. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I'm required to attend anywhere from 4-8 days of trainings during the summer. It's an unwritten rule that you'd better show up two weeks before the teacher days start to get your room ready.

    But other than that, I'm off. I teach summer school so I have about six weeks off.
     
  21. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I have to read a book over the summer, and my classroom had better be ready for open house. That's all.
    However, I always work summer school, lead PD, and take 4-8 days of trainings. These aren't required, but what the hey, two months is a really long time to just sit around.
     
  22. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    If we're staying in the same room, we can leave everything up, but we have to have all surfaces and the carpet clear so that they can do the deep cleaning. I'm hoping to stay in a portable for next year so I don't have to completely redo everything again!
     
  23. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    A lot of teachers talk about doing planning over the summer. In the schools I've worked in, I honestly just don't think it would work out very well. We are always implementing something new, there are always students who are "game changers," new expectations, school-wide behavior systems, etc. One year my dad (also a teacher) and I both got new positions in the same summer. When I went home to visit, he spent about 4 hours per day learning his new curriculum, making plans, etc. I felt a little silly that I wasn't really doing anything. When I was hired, the principal gave me the teacher's editions of the math and reading curriculums so I could "do my planning." I actually made a post about it on here and everyone told me I should be planning/learning my curriculum over the summer. I could never really figure out where to get started so I didn't end up doing much. I am SO glad I didn't. When I started at my school in the fall, the principal had decided she wanted us to completely get away from using the curriculum programs we had- to the point where we "weren't allowed" to use most of it. We could use very small segments "as a resource" if most of the lesson was our own activities/plans. I also found out that the district put out a required curriculum map of which topics we were to teach each week and my instructional schedule was created by the school. Had I spent my entire summer making unit plans, calendars/schedules, or "getting to know my curriculum" it would have been completely wasted time and I'd have to start from scratch. Even now that I've been in the same school for a few years, there are still SO many changes and new requirements every year.

    Anyway, to answer the actual question, I usually spend a few days- 1 week before teachers are scheduled to report setting up my classroom. Sometimes there is optional PD over the summer, but we get paid for it. Last year they announced it too late and I'd already planned a vacation, so I couldn't go. In the past I always taught summer school, but my district ran out of funding it for it two years ago :(.
     
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  24. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    We are required to get 5 days of professional development that count for the next year's contract over the summer (this is separate from the contracted days before students come). Like another poster said, it's an unwritten rule that once the building opens two weeks before school, either you should be seen daily, or daily progress on room set up should be made.
     
  25. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Completely take down, yes, but we can leave the boxes in a cupboard.

    I think about school a lot and make a lot of idea lists. I usually read a book or two of my choice to improve my teaching methodology our classroom management skills. I also work to develop my classroom management plan - how will kids turn in papers? How will they stay organized? What are my rules and consequences?

    I also check goodwill for classroom items and buy decorations and school supplies. I also update my website.

    All of these things are done by my choice, though. I could not do them, but then again, I'm a major planner.

    The actual lesson planning, I do in the school year mostly.
     
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  26. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    We are not expected to do any work over the summer, it is copletely by choice. You are not expected to show up until the first paid day, which is 3 days before school starts. Your room is expected to be "neat" by back to school night, which is the 2nd day back before school starts, but it is NOT expected to be decorated. I always come back 2 weeks before school starts to put around and pretend to set things up.
     
  27. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    I learned the hard way my first year in my current school not to spend time setting up before the last day before kids come back -- I spent hours painstakingly re-arranging my furniture only to find out they moved everything out of the way to shampoo the carpets! Last year I waited until the last day to set up and it was fine. I'm in high school, though, so not as much set-up as elementary.

    I have also learned not to spend too much time on curriculum over the summer since our teaching assignments can change up to the last minute, too. Last summer I read and planned for all the novels for a class I was supposed to teach, only to have my assignment changed a week before school was in session. I was able to re-use some stuff, but not everything. So much for planning ahead!
     
  28. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    This is true for me as well; we often have little "tweaks" in our teaching responsibilities the week before school starts.
     
  29. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I tweak all the "periferal" stuff during summer vacation. Classroom management, built in praise and rewards, built in consequences...etc.

    I don't do much for curriculum because I do not know the students and where we need to go until I see them in action.
     
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  30. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    This is much of my goal, though being in my initial years, assuming I will be in the same grade next year (it's looking like it), I want to take the curriculum and do some general unit planning to better solidify some units, or put together materials better so it's easier to prepare when it comes time. Specific dates and some materials might change, and it'll be extremely flexible still because of needing to meet the students' needs, but I know that that is what will help me be more successful.
     
  31. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Absolutely, I still do this to a degree as well, just with the understanding that it can/will/should change when it goes live.
     
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  32. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I recall making all these lesson plans during the summer for my maternity leave... only to pretty much toss them aside when the time came.
     
  33. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    If it works out that I have the same two preps for next year (which it looks like I will!), it would be my first time in my teaching career where I was not prepping at least one new class/curriculum. It would be amazing to be able to just tweak things for next year! Keep your fingers crossed for me...
     
  34. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    This year our school is being painted over the summer, so I will likely take everything off the walls, and cover everything with tarps and tape just to be careful.

    I work a summer job for four weeks during the summer. Aside from that, I work on getting the basics of my courses lined up. We recently rewrote all of our syllabi, so that won't be as big of a deal this summer.

    I usually do some kind of professional development or take a summer class, as well.
     
  35. renard

    renard Companion

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    I got stuck babysitting all the school pets.
     
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  36. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I suppose, in summary to the OP, that you may have indeed heard that many teachers do put in some work over the break... but rarely is it "school makes me do it" situation. I highly doubt you'll run into too many schools with a vigorous summer break work assignment.
     
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  37. renard

    renard Companion

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    For sure. I have preschool-age kids of my own, so "babysitting the school pets" is a fun activity for us. I have since warmed up to the suggestion.
     
  38. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    We are required to complete 4 days of in-service.

    I choose to spend 2-3 days getting my room together.

    Otherwise, the summer is mine.
     

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