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Summer curriculum

For some area teachers, summertime is not necessarily downtime

For some area teachers, summertime is not necessarily downtime

June 10, 2002|by ANDREA ROWLAND

andrear@herald-mail.com

Clear Spring Middle School teacher Tony Paci will pick up a hammer when he shuts down his classroom computer for the summer.

Paci, who teaches technology education, will spend a good part of his summer helping a friend build a new roller skating rink in Greencastle, Pa., he said.

He is among many teachers in the Tri-State area who will expand their job skills - both in and out of the educational system - during the summer school break.

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Funkstown Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Kathleen Pleasant will work part-time at the Pfaltzgraff store at Prime Outlets at Hagerstown, participate in a Character Counts! workshop, and take several graduate-level classes in pursuit of her administrative certificate, she said.

In addition to construction work, Tony Paci will participate in an educator externship, shadowing employees at Manpower temporary employment agency for three days in order to better discuss real-world career opportunities with his students, he said.

Paci's daughter, Nicole Paci-Funk, will take four graduate-level classes this summer to improve her skills as a Spanish teacher at Greencastle-Antrim High School in Franklin County, Pa., she said.

"I will be going to the beach for one week then it's time to start school again," Paci said.

Many other teachers in Greencastle have signed on to teach summer school classes, run school-based camps, and further their own educational skills through professional workshops and college classes, said Sherri Reinwald, guidance counselor at Greencastle-Antrim High School.

"I don't think people realize how much professional development teachers are involved in over the summer," Reinwald said.

High school English teacher Jaime Shirk and computer science teacher Gary Ankney said they will spend most of their summer furthering their own educations.

Shirk has enrolled in three college courses and plans to revise her syllabus for the upcoming school year. Among other summer plans, Ankney will take a JAVA computer programming class so he can teach JAVA next year and update the school district's Web site, he said.

Washington County teachers also have a number of summer employment opportunities through the county Board of Education, said Danette McCurdy, supervisor of staff development.

The board will hire at least 30 educators to teach middle- and high-school summer programs, McCurdy said.

Jonna Kelly, a first-grade teacher at Funkstown Elementary, will spend her summer helping students improve their reading and language skills, she said.

Teachers will also be paid to participate in curriculum development workshops that last between one and five days each, McCurdy said.

Many educators will take advantage of professional development courses over the summer. Some of these workshops are free and others include fees, McCurdy said.

Classes won't be over for many teachers at Musselman High School in Bunker Hill, W.Va., when their students break for the summer, Principal Kitty Cauffman said.

"That's when the teachers go to school," Cauffman said.

Teachers without their permanent certification must enroll in six hours of college courses - two classes - over the summer, she said.

Educators are also required to participate in upcoming summer workshops that cover such topics as new technology, school law, community relations and research techniques, Cauffman said.

Besides going back to school, most teachers will seek supplemental employment. Some will teach college classes or summer school, Cauffman said.

Journalism instructor Gus Pettit will teach summer school and take several thousand student photos for next year's student identification badges, he said.

He will be paid for that work.

Other teachers will work as house painters, landscapers, restaurant servers and tutors - any job to supplement their limited teacher's salary, Cauffman said.

"Teachers here get paid for 200 days. Period. They cannot afford to live in this area unless they have another job," she said.

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