Teachers are an integral part in the development of youth today.
Over the course of the school year, they work day in and day out to give children a well-rounded education. But what about over the summer months when kids are out of school?
Teachers like Missy Kearchner, who teaches fifth grade at Emmitsburg Elementary School, continue the push to strengthen the curriculum and prepare new teachers for the upcoming year.
“I’m working with rewriting the curriculum and making sure we’re touching all the indicators that are important in sixth grade, and then I build the website for teachers for the entire county,” Kearchner said.
Kearchner archives resources like videos and worksheets for other teachers to use during the school year. “I’ll do that throughout the summer, and then during the school year I’ll keep editing and revising it.”
The work doesn’t end on the official last day of school each June for teachers. Much evaluation and development is done to adjust specialized subjects like math and science to better suit students as they continue on with their education into middle school and high school.
Kearchner then spends weeks over the course of June and July focusing on curriculum writing for the county, editing and making changes to ensure the upcoming school year’s academic goals have a foundation to build toward. With the curriculum paired with the website, teachers now have resources designed to cut down on extra time needed to spend putting together teaching plans.
The work done to provide strategies for new teachers across the county is a major focus for Kearchner, but her main focus over the remaining weeks of summer is on improving Emmitsburg Elementary.
“We are also looking at our school, specifically, making sure we make it the best for this upcoming year,” Kearchner stated. “We’re brainstorming new ideas: how can we get the kids excited to be coming to school and how can we make sure while we’re keeping them excited, we’re still getting the math and reading scores up and closing that achievement gap.”
Much of the work teachers do across all grades is behind the scenes, but it’s necessary to best prepare students for the next step in their schooling, whether that’s the jump to middle school or the jump to college.
The involvement with parents has been a key in improving the parent-teacher and parent-student relationships. “This week, we’re actually making videos for parents of teachers to show them how their kids are learning at school,” Kearchner explained. “We’re working on a video for parents with an example showing them how to solve problems, and we’re showing parents that we can send these out with newsletters throughout, so hopefully then parents will be able to help their students.”
The countless hours required to be put in by teachers to bring success to their students may sometimes fly under the radar, but the impact absolutely reflects on the students’ school experience. “I haven’t had a day off since school ended,” Kearchner said.
Kearchner’s actual summer break lasts for just two weeks before new teacher orientation kicks off, where she shows teachers fresh out of college how to set up and prepare their classroom for the upcoming year. After orientation, the cycle repeats as soon as kids once again flood the halls at school for a fresh, new year.
It’s hard to quantify just how much effort teachers like Kearchner pour into their craft, but nobody benefits more than the kids who move in and out Emmitsburg Elementary.