No more pencils, no more books: What teachers do over summer break

Many teachers tell the AJC they plan to relax and recharge this summer.
Many teachers tell the AJC they plan to relax and recharge this summer.

When the last dismissal bell rang on the 2018/2019 school year, teachers were just as eager as everyone else to get their summer started. Anyone who thinks teachers are twiddling their thumbs until August doesn’t know much about modern educators. The AJC asked them to share summer plans.

Some responses may surprise you.

Kimberly Miller, a special education teacher at Carmel Elementary in Cherokee County, usually spends her summers in mandatory professional development or taking classes for an advanced degree. But this year, she’ll celebrate her 25th wedding anniversary in Maui. “It’s actually in August, but that’s back to school, so …”

April H. Fields is a media specialist at East Laurens Primary. “My summer break will include starting back to grad school to work on my Ed.S tomorrow, teaching swimming lessons at my home, continuing to revamp my school media center, and a glorious week in Englewood, Florida at the end of the month!”

“I teach history and government at Commerce HS and I’ll be taking some students to Europe to witness the D-Day 75th Anniversary ceremonies,” wrote Robin J. Richards.

Danny Kofke is a special education teacher in Barrow County. “In addition to spending time with my family - my wife, Tracy, is an elementary school teacher as well and we have two daughters Ava (age 15) and Ella (age 12) - I will be working some.

I plan on finishing my next personal finance book focused on getting out of debt. … I have written four other books including my latest, ‘The Wealthy Teacher: Lessons For Prospering On A School Teacher’s Salary.’ After that, it will be time to relax and recharge. We will be spending a week at Captiva Island in Florida for our family vacation the last week of June.”

Here are additional comments from our Get Schooled Facebook page:

“I just finished my 7th year of teaching. For the first time, I am not doing one single thing that has to do with school over the summer. I’m tired. I’m traveling and spending time with my family. That’s it!”

“I’ve worked the past five summers but this summer I’ve chosen to spend time with my kids and relax.”

“Read, relax, and recharge! I’ll spend a good bit of time learning our new ELA curriculum and writing lesson plans. Plus retool old lesson plans that are just not where they need to be. I’m more creative in the summer … imagine that! And I have three trips planned, a fourth maybe in the works. I’m too tired during the year to do much traveling, so it happens during the summer! And during those trips … Reading the text that goes with the new reading series! After 22 years of teaching, you’d think I’d do better! But this is what I do!”

“Teaching swimming lessons at my home, starting my Ed.S program tomorrow and heading to the beach for a week at the end of the month!”

“Staycation and training for a full Ironman.”

“Working my second job and traveling to Asia.”

“I just retired after 30 years in the classroom. I’m in recovery mode right now. This past year was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting.”

“Teaching summer school.”

“Whatever my wife tells me to do, she is the summer principal.”

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