Summer break is a time of lesson planning for local teachers

Published 7:00 am Saturday, June 8, 2019

Summer break does not halt the work of teacher’s in Pearl River County.

After 23 years of teaching, Tracy Stockstill knows that she’ll use her summer to create lesson plans for the next school year, she said. Stockstill said her students would not be surprised to hear she researches classroom material and lesson plans over the summer. She’s a third grade teacher at Pearl River Central Elementary who teaches reading, language and social studies, she said.

New social studies curriculum is being integrated this year across the state, she said. Stockstill will explore websites with fun new material to use with the new social studies curriculum and standards, she said. The new social studies standards were piloted last year and will go into effect this year, Stockstill said, so social studies teachers will get more details on the new standards in the upcoming school year, she said.

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“It’s the first week or two of summer break so I’m still looking into stuff,” she said. “I’m in the beginning stages of it.”

The summer break allows her to research material at a slower pace, she said.

Stockstill is also looking forward to relaxing with her family at the beach, she said, before she goes back to the rewards and challenges of teaching in the fall.

“I think one of the most challenging parts is helping children understand that reading is very fun to do, especially with increased technology use,” she said.

Stockstill enjoys seeing children develop a love of reading, she said.

Morgan Smith, a second grade teacher at Poplarville Lower Elementary, has already been shopping on Amazon for the upcoming school year, she said. The state gives teachers in each district money for classroom supplies, but those funds do not go very far, so she said she invests her own money to purchase classroom decorations.

Smith teaches reading, language, writing, handwriting and phonics, she said. Her mind stays on her students even during the summer months, Smith said.

In the upcoming school year, Smith is tackling a new challenge as she takes on the role of grade chair, she said.

“I sat in on two interviews this summer already,” she said. “I spent a whole day working with my principal and assistant principal and planning new curriculum.”

Smith said that typically teachers spend a lot of their summer planning for the next school year.

The second grade teacher will take some time out of her summer to go on cruises with her family, she said. Having an opportunity to spend time with family and relax during the summer is important for students and teachers, Smith said.

“You have to give so much during the school year—so much mentally. It’s really nice to have time to relax and prepare for the new year,” Smith said.