Summer School 101

Summer School 101


[flickr id=”14450849706″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”medium_800″ group=”” align=”none”] So summertime is upon us, and I’ve got a sweet gig teaching summer school at my cooperating high school. I’m teaching Summer Semester 1, so it’s three weeks long. It’s actually a really good opportunity because I finished student teaching at the beginning of May, we had a few days to wrap things up, and then we graduated from Columbia. This gave me a month respite to catch up on life, but now I’m employed to make a little money to live off of for the summer.
I personally think that summer school is a great idea for any recent education graduate to take advantage of. Summer school is shorter and it becomes an opportunity to address the areas of pedagogy that you might need to perfect. You can also focus upon some goals that you would like to achieve that weren’t all tackled in the seven weeks of a student teaching. I went back to my reflections that I wrote myself as well as the comments and suggestions my mentor¬†offered me and thought of ways to resolve the issues I had to ensure that I would become a better teacher, and to serve my students in the best way possible in the short amount of time we would be spending together.

[flickr id=”14287744479″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”medium_800″ group=”” align=”none”] Most importantly is the timing of summer school. All of the great knowledge that Columbia and my teachers have given me is still fresh in my head and not catalogued in a tucked away nook of my brain yet. Everything is relevant and I am applying the skills I have acquired right away. By having this intense extra chunk of teaching in June and July, I feel I will be more confident, organized and experienced to take on the entire high school year in the fall.

[flickr id=”14287465267″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”medium_800″ group=”” align=”none”] Also related to time and summer school is the schedule. A whole credit’s worth of art is crammed in to three weeks. It’s crucial for me to ensure that my students have an enriching art experience as well as leave with some key understandings. The pace of learning also has to be a lot faster because I have a lot of information to cover, and I would like the students to be able to produce pieces that they are proud of and interested in. Pretty much one day in class, which is 4 hours long, is equivalent to one week during the school year! So I’m trying to keep my students on task and keep up with the timing of having projects completed.

[flickr id=”14287539889″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”medium_800″ group=”” align=”none”] One thing I know I’m already doing a better job on is learning my students’ names a lot quicker. I’ve got all 22 down, and no mixing occurring like calling Matt Mark or Laura Linda.