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Your Best Summer Ever: 4 Projects to Inspire the Vacation of Your (Teacher) Dreams

“Being a teacher is easy. I mean, you get the whole summer off!”
I know, I know. Try not to throw things.
No matter how you spend your summer—working a second job, attending workshops, teaching summer school, getting healthy for fall, bingeing on best-practice blogs, lesson planning, or designing a new classroom layout—rarely does a teacher truly have summer “off”.
Below are four teachers in the summer who are setting themselves up for a fantastic “vacation” by enriching their lives and those of their students. Whether your own best summer ever involves family, rest, travel, study, sport, work, or a little bit of everything, these teachers in the summer will inspire you to make room for the things you feel are most important.
Mrs. Grosman Goes to Computer Camp
When Mrs. Grosman realized her Yonkers school needed a qualified computer science instructor, she decided to become one. With the help of her fully-funded Teacher Development project, she’ll attend a computer science course this summer that will allow her to, as she puts it, “bring technology to our school.” After she receives her training, she’ll teach a computer science course so her students can earn AP credit, create working apps, and explore new career avenues.
Taking the course will also allow her to harness the interest in technology her students exhibit daily. “All high school teachers face the same battle: taking a student’s attention away from their phone so they can learn,” Mrs. Grosman writes. “Why not allow them to use their phones to learn an important skill?”

Book Club Brings Adventure
With summer fast approaching and last year’s summer school enrichment program unavailable to them, a few of Ms. Powers‘ voracious readers had a stellar idea.
“My students approached me to ask about hosting a free Summer Book Club that would meet twice a week all summer long,” she explains.
That was all she needed to hear. Ms. Powers coordinated with her principal to use their school as a meeting place and posted a project for the necessary books.
Now, when the Phoenix summer heats up, Ms. Powers’ students will escape to Wonderland through The Looking Glass Wars, chase demons with The Mortal Instruments series, and explore the quirks of the Indiana countryside in All the Bright Places. What more could you ask from a vacation?

Growing STEM in the Community
Mrs. T.‘s students are taking matters into their own hands as well. They posted a project for robot kits and, with Mrs. T.’s support, they’ll soon be hosting and teaching a STEM camp for other children in their community.
Explains Mrs. T., “My students believe this project is a win-win idea for their community and themselves. On one end, they introduce the world of robotics to younger kids and show them how fun science can be by building a robot and bringing it to life. On the other end, they get an opportunity to share their interest, while developing leadership and presentation skills.”

Gratitude for All Seasons
Mrs. Tardie‘s essay for her first fully-funded request opens with a quote from Winnie-the-Pooh: “Piglet noticed that even though he had a very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”
This year, Mrs. Tardie worked to help her students cultivate gratitude, and she wanted to encourage them to continue this practice over the summer. One project later, each of her students is heading into vacation with their very own gratitude journal. Not a bad idea for students and adults alike!

How will you spend your summer? Please share in comments!

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