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What do teachers do during the summer?

Updated: May 10, 2023

A HUGE benefit to being a teacher is having paid summers off! It might surprise students to learn that their teachers look forward to summer breaks as much as— or maybe even more than—they do. Teachers get a break from planning for every minute of an eight-hour school day and have time to prepare for the next school year. Some teachers take this time to travel, relax, and pursue hobbies, while other teachers may use their summer breaks to make changes to curriculum, update classrooms, or attend classes for their certification. Check out what these McKay School alumni are up to this summer:

Colleen Simpkins studied Special Education with an Emphasis on Mild/Moderate disabilities and minored in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She has been teaching 6th and 7th grade at Mt. Nebo Middle School. This summer, she is studying abroad in Vienna, Austria, Budapest, Hungary, and Berlin. She wants to see what special education services look like in other countries.

Shannon Henrichsen graduated in Special Education with an emphasis on teaching students with mild/moderate disabilities. This year she taught children at Rose Creek Elementary in the Jordan District. This summer, Shannon is planning on doing an extended school year for the Jordan District. She will be involved in helping students who tend to forget what they learn over the summer break. These students come to school for a few weeks over the summer to help them retain the skills and information that they learned during the school year.

Emily Reed is finishing up her first year as a Special Ed teacher, and her summer is going to be jam-packed (so can it really be called summer vacation?). Her school year ends on May 27th, and she will be moving from Provo to Dallas the first week of June. After getting settled there, she is planning to nanny 3 kids until school preparation begins in late July. New teacher training for the district she will be teaching at in Dallas, followed by professional development and classroom set up, will occupy the rest of the summer until school starts on August 11.

Alyssa Higginson studied Elementary Education and minored in TESOL K-12. She currently teaches 4th grade at Blackridge Elementary. This summer, she will be moving her classroom into a portable outside the school because all of the 4th-grade classrooms are switching with the 5th grade classrooms. During the summer, she enjoys going to the Arts Express Conference to learn more about art integrated units, attending a literacy launch training, and meeting with her team to create a curriculum map for the upcoming year. She makes name tags, and buys various supplies for her upcoming class.

We love our McKay School alumni and hearing about what they are up to after they graduate. As a teacher with paid summers off, there is so much you can do to grow and progress.

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