Summer Spotlight: Summer School Teaching Experience

As part of the Summer Workation Celebrating Summer Contest, we will be featuring a number of Summer Spotlights. These Summer Spotlights will showcase some of the exciting things teachers have done and can do during the summer months. We hope that these posts can help teachers learn about some of the summer jobs and opportunities available to them. The second Summer Spotlight features a summer school experience.


February 20, 2010

The summer after my first year teaching, I took on dual responsibilities. Not only was I teaching but I was also 9th Grade Level Chair. This means that along with teaching a 9th grade course on character development, I played a role similar to that of a dean; I led weekly meetings, managed the other 9th grade teachers, and took care of any behavioral issues that arose. Classes took place the last two weeks of July and went from 8AM to 3PM. Teaching duties occurred five hours of the day, while grade level chair duties varied anywhere from two to four hours a day – it was near impossible to plan everything that occurred, especially with 110 9th graders. My physical stamina was tested, as was my mental stability but it was all worth it. This summer was groundbreaking for me. It was an amazing way to get to know the students that I would be teaching in the fall before the school year began, and it was also an amazing opportunity to obtain leadership experience. Managing students is one thing, but managing adults is definitely a growing experience.

My summer experience helped me to grow as an educator as well as a mentor and leader. The relationships I formed with my students during summer school carried over into the school year. I usually teach ninth grade biology, so I enjoyed teaching a character development course over the summer that allowed me to get to know my students on a more personal level. This helped me in my Biology classroom as I was able to motivate my students by appealing to what I had learned of their hopes and dreams during this character development class. Establishing a positive culture where my students celebrate each other’s successes and feel comfortable to be themselves during the summer also made it easier for me to jump right into academics at the start of the regular school year. Serving as the grade level leader over the summer was a perfect way to obtain experience for my Grade Level Chair duties during the regular school year. It served as a smooth transition allowing me to not only become comfortable with the duties that come with the job, but it also allowed me to practice balancing my different positions before the year started in full swing.

Reem Semaan

9th Grade Biology Teacher/9th Grade Level Chair

YES Prep Southwest

Summer Spotlight - Summer School Teaching Experiences

  • What do you think about this Summer Spotlight?
  • Do you teach summer school or seek out alternative teaching positions during the summer?
  • What would your ideal summer growth opportunity be (e.g., volunteer work, study/travel abroad, internship/externship, fellowship)?
  • Leave a comment between Feb 17-27, 2010 to enter the Celebrating Summer Contest!


4 Responses to “Summer Spotlight: Summer School Teaching Experience”

  1. Jessica Y. says:

    What a great Summer Spotlight! I love that with this one, it shows how much care and commitment teachers can share with their students. Getting to know your students and students getting to spend some time with teachers is an experience that both can benefit and gain from. Teachers have so much knowledge to share and give to students. I’m not a teacher, but seeing teachers teach during summer school or seeking out alternative teaching positions during the summer is awesome because I love seeing teachers so dedicated to their job.

    I took summer school back when I was in high school and that one month, I learnt so much from my teacher. They have to cram a lot of material into only a few weeks and the organization and skill that my teacher showed, it was truly wonderful. It didn’t feel rushed at all and it made my summer school experience so rewarding.

    As for my ideal summer growth opportunity, I love the feeling I get when I go home after volunteering, so I’m going to go with volunteer work. 😀

  2. mbcollins says:

    I think it is great for new teachers to spend some extra time in their district teaching summer school. It provides you with an additional way to understand the community in which you are teaching. It also give you a chance to try out new roles and grow as a professional within your district.

  3. Karla Duff says:

    Great for the teacher & the students! My school doesn’t have summer school so I have never experienced this particular type of teaching. I see where it would be a great opportunity. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Paul says:

    Great write-up!

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