Archive for July, 2009

Summer School Teaching Positions Hard to Find

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

On July 1st, 2009, Sam Dillon of the New York Times published an article titled “Facing Deficits, Some States Cut Summer School.” While the article explicitly discusses the dire circumstances of the summer enrichment programs that students across the nation depend on, it also highlights the shrinking set of opportunities available to teachers during the summer months. This decrease in opportunities underscores the timeliness and need for Summer Workation.

Sam Dillon writes:

Nearly every school system in Florida has eviscerated or eliminated summer school this year, and officials are reporting sweeping cuts in states from North Carolina and Delaware to California and Washington. The cuts have come as states across the country are struggling to approve budgets, and California’s governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, declared a fiscal state of emergency on Wednesday.

Although the number of summer schools had indeed been shrinking in the years leading up to this recession, the struggling economy has further exacerbated the problem as many states cut summer enrichment programs in order to save money. This phenomenon is clearly problematic for children, particularly those who depend on summer programs to help them catch up or prepare for the upcoming school year.

However, millions of teachers have also been affected as summer prospects have been severely limited. Teachers are effectively made helpless and are unable to fulfill their calling during the summer months as more and more programs lose funding. Even if teaching is not an available option during their summer breaks, it is important for educators to engage in meaningful activities that will enhance and strengthen their skills in the classroom. However, such activities are often difficult to find independently.

Many teachers who have been shut out of the classroom during the summer months settle for the modest, but steady, paycheck that comes with a retail or restaurant job. However, such jobs may offer little potential for growth and they provide few meaningful experiences that teachers can take back to the classroom and share with their students.

The issue boils down to the following: Some teachers have relied on summer schools for summertime employment. Teaching summer school has traditionally provided educators with continuity, familiarity and relevant experience. When summer schools are closed, more teachers bear the responsibility of finding alternate growth opportunities that can ultimately help them grow as educators. This is certainly becoming an increasingly challenging task. However, teachers must know that Summer Workation is here to help!


Teaching Technology

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Over the past couple decades, the Internet, along with other emerging technologies, have been taking on an increasingly involved role in shaping our society. Generation Y, sometimes referred to as the “Net Generation,” has come of age during an era of unprecedented technological breakthroughs, which have forever changed the lives of countless people around the globe. They have become masters of the mouse and although they have undoubtedly heard the horrifying stories from their baby boomer parents, they still struggle to recall a time when email, instant messaging, video conferencing, blogging, and online media and networking sites did not yet exist.

Those from the Net Generation are likely to consider the aging baby boomers old-fashioned since they are not always up to date on the latest gadgets and computer tricks. However, this does not mean that the baby boomers are idly standing by as the world becomes increasingly connected by means of groundbreaking technologies and an ever-expanding network of digital communication devices. In fact, many are making a conscious effort to remain abreast of new technology in an attempt to improve and enhance communications with their sons and daughters of the Net Generation. This idea is easily observed when we consider America’s schools and the great lengths that teachers go to in order to bring into the classroom new technology that could revolutionize the way students learn. Teachers not only understand that today’s students have a genuine interest in technology given the prominent role it has played in their upbringing, but they also know that when successfully integrated into the classroom learning experience, new technology can provide a wealth of educational resources that enable students to learn more effectively.

Although its benefits are widely recognized, technology’s role in the advancement of education has been taking on a new level of importance within the last few years. With the start of the new millennium, the world witnessed the emergence and rising popularity of online social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter. Although the majority of people who use these sites are likely to be members of the Net Generation, older folks, including teachers and school administrators, are also logging in to connect with others in the education field and share valuable advice, ideas, and resources with one another. The improved communication that these social networking sites offer enables teachers to acquire additional tools that strengthen their skills as educators and ensure their students’ success, which, of course, is the ultimate goal.

Summer Workation is similarly taking advantage of new technologies in order to revolutionize teachers’ summer breaks. Several years ago, it would have been nearly impossible for an organization to offer teachers summer support in a scalable or affordable way. By using the Internet to make information universally available and social media to connect with those in the education field, Summer Workation is able to help teachers optimize their summer breaks by linking them with rewarding workations (working vacation growth opportunities). The hope is that teachers will continue to grow and learn during the summer months so that upon their return to the classroom, they can integrate revolutionary new ideas and technology into the curriculum for the benefit of their students’ overall learning experience.