School's out! Time for teachers to party in their pajamas

abredeson@islandpacket.comJune 8, 2014 

20070625 Summer tips

Teachers like to have fun during their summer vacations, too, you know.

ALVIN — McClatchy-Tribune News Service

While students might think teachers spend the entire summer devising plans to make their lives more difficult, they actually do the same things students do during their vacations. It's true. They spend time with family, go on vacations, take trips to the beach and do lots of swimming. They get caught up in projects around the house and read some good books.

They also do something else they don't get to do during the school year -- stay in their pajamas all day.

Beaufort County teachers share their summer plans with us. Notice, ahem, that some of them plan to keep on learning.

FAMILY TIME

Okatie Elementary School fourth-grade science, English language arts, and gifted and talented math teacher Marlayna Tracy is glad to just be a mom this summer.

"I love teaching my students and sharing with them every day, but I'm looking forward to being home with my babies. They are changing every day, and I am excited to do silly things with them. I love playing 'tourist' in my own town and exploring. I'm excited to see all my mommy friends, go to the beach and pool, and also hang out in our PJs just because we can."

Hilton Head Christian Academy fourth-grade teacher Sarah Atkins is thinking the same thing.

"We finally have time to clean out our house and indulge in a pajama day or two. One relaxing trip to spend a week in the Blue Ridge Mountains for hiking, and porch sitting is a must. Summer is our time to bond as a family, and we enjoy every minute together."

Beaufort Elementary School third-grade teacher Gabrielle Clossman plans to spend a lot of quality time with her 1-year-old daughter, Charlotte Rebecca, this summer.

"I am a recent graduate of Lesley University with a master's in art integration. As such, this will be the first summer in two years that I will not have to partake in cohort weekends nor complete graduate assignments. That means this is the first summer I can focus solely on my family ... my husband, Seth, and daughter, Charlotte. We plan to go the aquarium, the zoo and introduce Charlotte to the pool and beach."

TRAVELING

Beaufort High School history teacher Charlie Holbrook plans to travel with his wife to their cottage in New England.

"This summer, my wife, Leslie, and I will be traveling to our cottage in Old Lyme, Conn. This cottage at Point O' Woods Beach has been in her family since it was built in 1941 by her grandfather. While there, we visit with our grandchildren, do some birding and get the cottage ready for renting in August."

Hilton Head Island High School choral director Larry Mercer plans to take a river cruise from Basel, Switzerland, through Germany and France and ending in Amsterdam.

Coosa Elementary School computer lab teacher Melissa Pender plans to read, spend time with family, take a few short vacations, geocache with friends and learn to play the guitar.

Riverview Charter School creative arts teacher Lisa Clancy will take her son to Anderson for The American Legion Boys State program and then to Washington, D.C., for a special leadership conference sponsored by the National Rifle Association. They will also visit family in New York, go to a church camp in Virginia and attend sports camps in Utah.

TEACHING

But it's not all fun and games for teachers over the summer. Some decide to keep working.

Hilton Head Preparatory School upper school AP chemistry, AP physics and chemistry teacher Tina Webb-Browning is spending the first part of her summer break grading AP chemistry exams in Louisville, Ky. When she returns, she will be back at Hilton Head Prep, kicking off the school's first year of summer academic programs. Webb-Browning is the director of the summer programs and will also teach a weeklong course.

Red Cedar Elementary School art teacher Jacquelyn Visscher will teach a class about iPads in the art room to other art teachers at the Beaufort County School District's Summer Institute.

ALWAYS LEARNING

In July, Beaufort High's Holbrook will take a history course on "Europe from the French Revolution to the Fall of the Soviet Union" at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn.

"Enrolling in a summer history course is an excellent way to become rejuvenated for the new academic year at Beaufort High School."

Red Cedar Elementary upper grades literacy teacher Amber Blakes will attend training to learn how to support project-based learning at her school. She will take a graduate class on how to teach writing in math, science and social studies, and she will attend another professional development class called "Spanish for Educators."

But Blakes will also have some fun this summer.

"I'll take a break to go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter with my family. Most importantly, I'll be welcoming home my wonderful husband, who has been away on a six-month deployment to Japan."

Follow reporter Amy Coyne Bredeson at twitter.com/IPBG_Amy.

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