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Tuesday Teacher Tips: Summer School, Jumping in Feet First

Welcome to the Tuesday Teacher Tips series! Each week we’ll highlight teaching and learning resources, ideas to use in the classroom, as well as things to ponder as you go about your teaching day.

You know its summer school as you navigate your way through halls crammed with stacks of chairs, desks and pallets of boxes. Any room not used for summer school is being buffed and polished for the fall.

I love the relaxed setting of summer school. It’s down to the basics—reading and math—with no special programming or interruptions. Don’t misunderstand, I know the importance and appreciate all of the support staff I have during the year, I couldn’t do my job if they weren’t available. And events like track and field, special speakers, and field trips make school memorable for the students while providing learning opportunities outside of the classroom.

But sometimes, you just want to teach. During the year, the school day is hectic and full of interruptions and someone is always leaving the room for something. It’s a rare time when I have my entire class in the room at the same time.

So, for me, summer school is about kids and teaching. It’s about studying notes from their teachers, analyzing test results and diagnosing the best use of my time with this new group of students. And then just teaching.

But with summer school also comes low motivation. The kids seem to drag in a little slower. It’s no wonder, as they left their house that morning for school they watched a group of neighborhood kids gather on the corner to organize a game of ball.

As a teacher, it’s my job to keep learning as active, engaging and rigorous as possible, especially during summer school. I have to jump in feet first on that very first day to make their time away from friends and ball as worthwhile as possible.

Check out our current educator’s newsletter for some ideas and resources for lessons and games to use during summer school, starting on day one.

Do you teach summer school? What do you enjoy about it? What are your challenges? Email and let us know. We’d love to hear from you.