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The Woods Academy

Where curiosity and confidence thrive.

What Do Teachers Really Do During the Summer?

Caitlin Chalke

No one really understands the life of a teacher. Students may think they are mysterious creatures who only exist at school. Can anyone imagine how teachers spend their summers when school is not in session? Have you ever wondered what teachers do with those wonderful few months of freedom? Here is a glimpse of how some teachers from The Woods Academy spent their summers.

Study & Learn

For some teachers, summer means thinking about anything but their classroom. For others, summer provides the perfect opportunity for professional development. Many teachers from The Woods took advantage of their “time off” to attend multi-day workshops or courses in order to hone their craft.

  • Institute for Multi-Sensory Education (IMSE) Comprehensive Orton-Gillingham - Danielle Shegerian and Capri Coleman
  • IMSE Phonological Awareness - Kate Fogarty and Kelly Nalls
  • 6+1 Traits of Writing - Carey Hollensteiner and Paris Person
  • Methods of Teaching for Elementary Teachers at Community College of Baltimore County - Julie Branitsky, Hunter Davenport, Carey Hollensteiner, and Paris Person
  • National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics Summer Leadership Academy - Kristen Chrobocinski
  • Open Up Resources Virtual Learning Academy for Math - Carol Lucarelli
  • Effective Strategies for Talking About Race & Racism in the Preschool to Grade 5 Classroom - Jodie Shoemaker
  • Giving Great Feedback: Using "Value Grids" to Give Teacher Timely Feedback - Katya Pilong
  • Special Education Advocacy with Learning Disabilities of America and Committee of Education Funding - Kelly Tanzi

Travel Abroad

Yes, many people travel during the summer to visit beautiful beaches and lakes, National Parks, and favorite friends and relatives. However, teachers tend to explore faraway places enhancing their worldly knowledge and collecting nuggets of information to share with their students when they return to school. Who knows what these Woods teachers learned while traveling abroad this summer?

  • Spain - Kimberley Jibladze, Catherine Gonzalez
  • Canada - Jocelyn MacDonald
  • Honduras - Rina Bados
  • England - Stephanie (Chapman) Rocco
  • Portugal - Joe Powers
  • The Bahamas - Kelly Tanzi, Erica Vassos

Relax, Pursue Hobbies, and More

Of course, with no work schedule, teachers have more time to enjoy the things they love outside of school. Christina Phelps took tennis lessons. Michele Roome renovated a bungalow in Colonial Beach, VA. Matt D’Ercole worked in a restaurant at the beach. JP Clubbs went pontooning at Lake Gaston with his dad Coach Clubbs. Randy and Martin Bednar watched plenty of baseball games. And the list goes on.

Get Married

Most importantly, summer is the ideal time to celebrate. Without the pressure of a busy work week, teachers can focus on planning and rejoicing in life’s milestones like marriage. Grade 3 Teacher Erica Vassos married Brent Hiken on Saturday, July 23 in Washington, DC. Congratulations!

No matter how teachers spend their long summer days, many of them are planning, dreaming, and looking forward to the new school year. Most will not admit this, but it is true. The Woods Academy faculty and staff cannot wait for the students to return to the building and fill their classrooms with the sounds of joyful learning.