How Will You Spend Your Summer Vacation?

People go into teaching for a number of reasons.  The most common is the desire to make a difference in a student’s life.  Others want to follow in the footsteps of their parents or are influenced by a past teacher.  One of the most attractive reasons for teachers is those long summer vacations that are a universal benefit for teachers worldwide.

For many teachers in the world (at least those of us in the northern hemisphere) we are about to embark on a long, restful summer vacation.  I am lucky to work in an institution (Dubai Men’s College in the United Arab Emirates) where we have two months of paid vacation every summer. For me as Past President of TESOL International Association, most of my time will be spent in exotic locales doing teacher training and speaking at TESOL affiliate conferences.

My summers always consist of travel and volunteer work.  This summer I plan to recharge on a Caribbean cruise and a trip to Rio de Janeiro and Iguacu Falls (two places I’ve always wanted to visit) with my family.  After that, I will do plenaries at BRAZ TESOL in Rio, the CELE Conference in Mexico City, and ASALPI in El Salvador.  I’ll also do longer teacher training events in assessment with the U.S. Department of State as an Academic Program Specialist in Uruguay, Bolivia, Colombia, and Nicaragua.  This summer is shaping  up to be one of my best ever.

How do other English language teachers and TESOLers spend their summer vacations?  Looking forward to hearing your ideas!

About Christine

Christine Coombe has a Ph.D in Foreign/Second Language Education from The Ohio State University. She is currently on the English faculty of Dubai Men's College. She is the former Testing and Measurements Supervisor at UAE University and Assessment Coordinator of Zayed University. Christine is co-editor of Assessment Practices (2003, TESOL Publications); co-author, A Practical Guide to Assessing English Language Learners (2007, University of Michigan Press); co-editor, Evaluating Teacher Effectiveness in EF/SL Contexts (2007, UMP); co-editor, Language Teacher Research in the Middle East (2007, TESOL Publications), Leadership in English Language Teaching and Learning (2008, UMP) and Applications of Task-based Learning in TESOL (2010, TESOL Publications). Christine’s forthcoming books are on task-based learning and reigniting, retooling and retiring in English language teaching. Christine has lived and worked in the Arabian Gulf for the past 19 years. In this capacity, she has served as President of TESOL Arabia and as the founder and co-chair of the TESOL Arabia Testing Special Interest Group who organize the Current Trends in English Language Testing (CTELT) Conference. During her tenure in the Middle East, she has won many awards including: 2002 Spaan Fellowship for Research in Second/Foreign Language Assessment; 2002-03 TOEFL Outstanding Young Scholar Award; TOEFL Board Grant for 2003-04, 2005-06, 2007-08 and 2009-10 for her work in delivering assessment training assessment in developing countries. Most recently she served on the TESOL Board of Directors as Convention Chair for Tampa 2006 and was the recipient of the Chancellor’s Teacher of the Year for 2003-04. She is currently TESOL President (2010-2013).
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4 Responses to How Will You Spend Your Summer Vacation?

  1. Rabah Cherouana says:

    May I have your contact email Dr Coombe ?
    mine is
    Kind regards,

  2. Mohamed EL-Zamil says:

    Hi all,I’m planning to unplug in Spain&France this summer. I badly need it after a long academic year full of teaching,supervising and PD activities.I will be back in the UAE 2 weeks before classes start.

  3. Christine Coombe says:

    Hi Heidi

    Thanks for your response and congrats on your new teaching position! Preparation for next semester will also figure prominently on my summer agenda but luckily I’m back onsite in Dubai for 2 full weeks before classes begin so I hope to get a lot of it done then.

    Best of luck for the next academic year.

  4. Heidi Casper Heidi says:

    I wish I could say my summer will be as interesting as yours, Christine. However, like most teachers in the summer months, I plan to prepare for the coming school year. After moving to a new state and being unemployed for the past six months, I finally landed a teaching job. While I wish it were as an ESL teacher in the upper grades, I instead was asked to teach Kindergarten. That is something I’ve only done once before and haven’t done in 15 years, so I have a lot of catching up to do before school starts in August, especially since the last year and a half I’ve spent teaching high school. Fortunately, Kindergarten is heavily language based so my masters in ESL will not be for naught, AND there will be ESL students in my class. I’ve ordered a bunch of books on what is current best practice in Kinder, I plan to unpack and reorganize all my teaching materials from the last 15 years to see what I can still use, and I will be learning the new state standards for Kinder which have become heavily academic since the last time I taught it. While all this probably sounds like an incredibly boring summer to the non-teacher, I’m actually looking forward to it. As a teacher, it shouldn’t matter what grade level or specialty you teach, it should be the kids that matter and being the best teacher you can be for them. That is what I intend to do!

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