We turned the tables on Cherokee County teachers, asking them: What did you do on your summer vacation? We felt somewhat guilty, interrupting their relaxing respite to fulfill our assignment … but, they tackled the project with enthusiasm, and they all deserve an A+. We hope you’ll enjoy reading their answers!
Literature and film teacher (9th and 11th)
My summer has been delightful. My wife is also a teacher and we don’t have kids, so every day of vacation is an unqualified miracle. We managed a trip to the beach, but we’ve both really focused on catching up with our outside reading. I try to model lifelong learning for my students; I think it’s important they see me constantly challenging myself academically in the way I challenge them. Accordingly, I’ve been lapping up and wrestling with Bloom’s “The Western Canon,” Russell’s “Principia Mathematica,” Auden, and some blind spots in the O’Connor collection. I’ve also, like everyone, been much too acquainted with Netflix. Would I like to continue watching? Yes, Netflix. When have I ever refused you?
To fill in the gaps, here’s a list of mental snapshots from my vacation I can’t seem to shake: handing diplomas to a group of well-deserving recipients (whom I already miss); waiting on a birthday steak (order it Pittsburgh charred!) at my favorite establishment; discovering my cable provider is VERY willing to negotiate pricing; finding a 20-dollar bill; realizing I’ll never be able to spend it, its molasses face washed and dried beyond recognition; swapping ideas over dinner with an old friend; eavesdropping on a conversation between a long-married couple in a coffee shop (they’re still in love, it seems); listening to a doctor say words I’ve wished to hear; standing at the edge of my neighborhood pool before my first swim of the season in too-cold water; thinking I might wait another week for the temperature to rise; diving in.
Director of bands
Teasley Middle School
My summer vacation began June 1 with our family vacation to St. Augustine and Flagler Beach, Fla., for a week. I’ve had five goals and focus points for my summer.
1. Family time with my wife and three daughters. We spent time laughing, riding bikes, exercising, enjoying the outdoors and spending quality time together.
2. Helping at my wife’s business, Practically Perfect Day Spa and Salon, in downtown Canton. She’s coming up on her eight-year anniversary of being open.
3. Time visiting and talking with extended family. I’m passionate about my family history and its research. My family is spread out across the U.S., and I’m doing my best to reconnect everyone through our stories and lives.
4. Improvement of my craft and life. Reading great motivational books on leadership and music. Writing goals and objectives for my future. Reflecting on where my life has been, and where it’s heading.
5. School prep for the coming year. The band world started up in mid-July. Before school started, I spent many days in the band room, repairing and cleaning instruments, updating inventory, and beginning to create a framework for the coming 2018-19 year.
This summer has given me so very much to be thankful for, as well as a clear, fresh perspective as we kick off the new school year!
Woodstock Middle School
Summer is an opportunity for teachers to rest and recuperate from the previous school year, while preparing for the year to come. At least, we attempt to prepare for the year to come, in between sleeping, traveling and spending time with the people we rarely see during the year.
This summer, for me, was no exception. My summer included lots of naps, summer walks and good conversation with family and friends. I also love to travel, and try to take at least one trip every year. To kick off this summer, I chaperoned a group of high school students from my church as we traveled to Gatlinburg, Tenn. We tubed, hiked and worshiped together amid the gorgeous Smoky Mountains.
My second destination of the summer was Chicago. Getting on an airplane, seeing people near and dear to me, and visiting the Windy City was wonderfully refreshing. Of course, The Bean was mandatory (it’s still there and still shiny in case you were wondering), and, although it started to rain, we still were able to admire the Navy Pier. There were gorgeous buildings, breathtaking waterways and yummy food, all with amazing people. It was quite an experience.
Between my two trips, I was fortunate to take a Director’s Boot Camp at the Cobb Energy Center. This boot camp allowed me to hear from theatrical professionals on how to effectively direct a musical. There is not a musical scheduled this season at WMS, but, who knows, keep your eyes peeled for 2020. I received instruction on choreography, music, lighting and sound. Inspiration abounded, as professionals sat together and talked about their passions. My summer has been one adventure after another and I’ve loved every minute of it!
Fifth grade teacher
Hasty Elementary School
Since this past year was my first year of teaching, I decided to take the summer to get some things done that I wasn’t able to during the school year, and relax a little bit!
I originally had planned to spend a couple of weeks in Nicaragua, like I have done for the past few summers, putting on workshops for teachers through a missions organization called Vision Nicaragua. Due to political unrest in the country, unfortunately, we were unable to go, but we are hopeful we will be able to go again next year.
I ended up spending time with friends and family, bought my first home, and began my master’s in education degree. I closed on my house right as school got out, so the first few weeks of my summer consisted of painting the house, moving in, and decorating to make it my home. It was a fun project to start the summer off with.
After I got my house settled, I was able to spend time relaxing at the lake and the beach with friends and family. This was a great time to get rejuvenated and prepare for my second year of teaching. I am excited to learn more through my master’s classes so that I can begin to implement these new ideas in my classroom. As summer is coming to a close, I feel rested and am excited to begin my second year of teaching with my wonderful fifth-graders.