Not all teachers stay clear of the classroom during their summer break.
That’s the case for more than 260 educators from throughout the El Paso Independent School District, who this week spent the day at Franklin for the Summer Institute to brush up on a variety of topics and bring fresh ideas to their classroom.
Teachers participating in the third annual Summer Institute also received a day credit – allowing them to extend their summer break to August 6 instead of returning on August 3.
“This year’s Teachers Summer Institute features a choice of more than 60 sessions a day focusing on curriculum, district resources, fine arts, health, physical education and technology,” said Kathy Seufert, director of staff development.
“Teachers gain valuable information that will help them get the next school year off to a great start.”
White Elementary teacher Maria Esperon took the “Exploring with Clay” session taught by her colleague Bertha Guerrero. Like a pro, she modeled her air-dry clay into a turtle and even helped her neighboring teacher attach ears on a bunny.
“I took this session because I knew I could incorporate it into what I teach and thought it would be relaxing for my students,” Esperon, a special education teacher said. “I like the fact that you can choose what you would like to take at the Summer Institute. I never had the opportunity to do art. I think it’s good for all kids.”
Esperon also attended the institute just in case she decided not to return until August 6.
“I thought it would give me one day of freedom but I’m sure I’ll be at Zach White (on August 3) in my classroom,” the dedicated educator said.
Powell teaching coach Lauren Cano’s STEM session gave teachers a collaborative lesson on building a tower with colorful pipe cleaner. Among her students on Tuesday was her mom, Leslie Horvath, who teaches at Crockett Elementary School.
“It’s a little unusual to have my mom in the class because I’m used to always going to her for help,” Cano said. “But this is something we started at Powell and by sharing what we are doing, I’m able to give back.”
Horvath happily took instruction from her daughter.
“It gives me a great sense of accomplishment,” she said. “It’s nice to watch her give me ideas to take back to my classroom.”