Thursday, February 29, 2024

Here’s what some teachers do during the summer months

Ever wonder what teachers do with their summer vacation?

From spending time with their families to working part-time gigs, not every teacher spends his or her summer vacation the same way.

Here’s what some teachers in Hampton and Newport News do with their summer vacations.

Family time

Erika Perkins, a first grade teacher at Nelson Elementary School, spends her summer at the pool with her kids.

“We also enjoy going out and enjoying parks the beaches and activities from Richmond to Virginia Beach,” she wrote in an email.

Another teacher who spends time with her family? Sarah Wooley, also from Nelson Elementary School in Newport News.

Wooley teaches third grade during the school year and once the summer rolls in, she goes to the Outer Banks or Wrightsville Beach with her kids and reads books.

“I love the summers,” she said. “It gives me time to be a stay-at-home mom to my two children. We just try to be outside as much as possible.”

Seeing the world

While some teachers spend time with their families, other teachers like, Ericka Godwin, travel.

“Over the summer I aim to travel abroad at least once or twice for at least two or more weeks,” said Godwin, who teaches sixth grade at Hines Middle School.

She spends the first half of the summer months teaching and uses the money she makes from tutoring and coaching volleyball and basketball teams toward her travel plans.

“This summer I plan on traveling to Morocco for two weeks,” she wrote in an email.

Paying the bills

Michelle Bowers, a first grade teacher at Armstrong School for the Arts, tutors kids after school and on the weekends during the school year. In the summer, she continues to tutor kids and works for an educational company assessing work.

“I do this to help with our family income because my husband is retired and I have two children with severe chronic medical issues,” she wrote in an email. “Their medical needs/bills during some times of the year are pretty expensive.”

Emily Finerfrock also works during the school year and during the summer as a part-time running consultant for Point 2 Running Company in Newport News.

Because she is a lead English teacher at Hines Middle School, Finerfrock spends a portion of her summer attending workshops or training programs for educational purposes and tries to take at least one week off to go on vacation with her family.

“My lead position actually requires that I work extra days at the end of the school year and before the other teachers come back in August, so I’d say the true duration of my ‘summer off’ is more like 6 weeks,” she said.

In Hampton and Newport News, public school teachers start off making just under $45,000 a year. Here are the links to check pay scales for Hampton and Newport News.

Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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