I Wasn’t Sure About Teaching Summer School—But These 5 Things Helped Change My Mind

At the conclusion of every school year, the question of whether or not to teach summer school inevitably arises. For many educators, the idea of teaching during a typically cherished period of rest and rejuvenation can seem counterintuitive and unappealing. I have to be honest; I used to be one of those skeptics. However, my opinion on the matter shifted after a series of experiences opened my eyes to the potential benefits. Here are the five key factors that changed my mind about teaching summer school:

1. Opportunity for improvement and experimentation

Summer school provides a unique opportunity for teachers to enhance their pedagogical skills and try out new teaching methods in a more relaxed setting. The smaller class sizes and shorter session lengths offer an environment where one can experiment with techniques and strategies that might seem too risky during the regular school year.

2. Building deeper connections with students

Because of the smaller classes and more concentrated time spent with students, summer school can foster stronger relationships between teachers and students than is often possible during the hectic regular school year. This rapport can create a more positive learning environment, encouraging personal growth for both teachers and students.

3. Meeting unique student needs

Many students find themselves in need of summer school classes for various reasons—be it to catch up on credits or make up for learning losses experienced due to illness or other life circumstances. Teaching summer school allows educators to make a difference in these students’ lives by helping them get back on track academically and regain confidence in their abilities.

4. Professional development opportunities

A number of schools and districts offer financial incentives or professional development credits for educators who choose to teach summer school courses. This can benefit teachers looking to further their careers while also expanding their experience working with diverse student populations.

5. Work-life balance

While it may seem counterintuitive, teaching summer school can actually help achieve a better work-life balance. The shorter days and more informal atmosphere leave teachers with more personal time in the evenings and weekends than they might expect during the regular school year. In addition, many teachers find the experience so rewarding that it reinvigorates their passion for their profession, helping to prevent burnout.

Ultimately, my decision to teach summer school has been a valuable and eye-opening experience. I have developed new skills, deepened my connections with students, met unique student needs, benefitted from professional development opportunities, and achieved a more satisfactory work-life balance. If you find yourself questioning whether or not to take the plunge into summer school teaching, I hope these insights might inspire you to consider the benefits and give it a try.

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