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Summer Break is here but not for Teachers

By Christie Slocum

Just this week several Colleton County students were asked one question, What do you think your teacher is doing this summer. After a few seconds of awkward giggling and shoulder shrugs, many elementary students gave some pretty good guesses. “Laying out by the pool,” “taking her children to the beach,” “buying groceries at Wal-mart” were all good answers and fairly accurate. When middle and high school students were asked the same question the responses became a little more realistic. “Sending emails reminding us of our summer reading”, “Making sure we know we need to come to orientation”, “Having teacher classes” were just a few of the older students responses.
Although some would like to think their teachers are rolling around in the sand at Edisto, the truth is summer is past half way over and teachers across the county are starting to get their ducks in a row for the 2017-2018 school year which is just a few weeks away. Many are starting to prepare while even working a second job to help ends meet during the summer. Many teachers tutor, babysit, deejay, clean beach houses, wait tables and tend a bar.
Tiffany West, a second-grade teacher at Northside Elementary School, has been busy all summer. West works with her husband Chris year round providing music for folks special occasions with their DJ business, East to West. Although not physically in the classroom during the summer months, West said her summer is full of things related to being in her classroom. Some of the things she has been busy doing this summer are book studies, going to workshops, making and laminating items for her different learning centers, sorting and labeling books for her classroom libraries, and going in to arrange and get her classroom set up for her students first day of second grade. West says “Summer vacation is a time for me to relax and rest. This time is needed for a mental break. Each year when it is time to go back, I get excited to meet all of my new babies and begin our adventure together.” With just a few weeks left before teachers return to their schools, West will be enjoying a vacation with her husband and two children to the Caribbean.
It is true,eachers do get to have fun during the summer but they are spending a good bit of their time “off” getting ready for their incoming students. One way the community can help ease some stress for our community teachers is by making sure they have the supplies they need to teach our future leaders. On average, teachers spend $500 a year on supplies for their classrooms. Teachers can never have too many supplies. Pencils, paper, dry erase markers, glue sticks, crayons, color ink for their printers, tissues and hand sanitizer tops the list of what teachers need. Let’s all help out this year. Grab a few extra supplies and give to your favorite teacher this year as a welcome back gift. Let’s get the 2017-2018 school year off to a great start.

Christie Slocum (477 Posts)