What Do Teachers Do Over The Summer?


Here is a photo of Mr. Shea, his wife (Marcela Guerrero), his daughter (Emilia Shea-Guerrero), and Marcela’s parents (Kelly and Oswaldo Guerrero) out to dinner in San Juan.

Izzy Leyton, Contributing Writer

With the beautiful weather, graduation approaching, and spring sports seasons wrapping up, everyone is starting to look forward to summer. While many high school students are planning for camps, internships, SAT prep, and college visits, our teachers and faculty have other plans and traditions. I asked three talented faculty members: Robotics Coach and Computer Science and Information teacher Kristin Guynn, History Teacher Timothy Shea, and Director of Student Life Jared Winston about their plans, and these were their responses:


Do you have any trips scheduled over the summer? What are you most excited about?

Guynn: Yes, I have three trips scheduled already and more to come. One of my trips this summer is to Salvador, Brazil. I am super excited to immerse myself into the culture. I will be taking Capoeira classes and Samba classes, going on tours, visiting neighboring islands, going on hikes, and more! I am also going to Guatemala and Jamaica. My family is from Jamaica, so it will be a family-oriented trip.

Shea: I’m most excited about going to Puerto Rico for the month of August. We go every year as a family to be with my wife’s parents (my daughter’s grandparents) who live in San Juan. 

Winston: I have a nine-day solo backpacking trip through England planned in late June from Winchester to Canterbury. The path is called The Pilgrim’s Way and has been around since the Stone Age. Each day includes a six-hour walk, so I’m looking forward to following along some ancient footsteps, challenging these old legs, being silent for a while, and taking a moment to listen to what nature has to say. This summer, I am most excited to catch my breath and get some rest. Educators work really hard to make sure students are taken care of during the school year, so having some time to reconnect with our hobbies and explore new interests is really cathartic.


Are you staying in the city over the summer? Do you like the city in the summer? 

Guynn: I will spend a bit of time in the city catching up with friends and taking some time for myself. I love Brooklyn in the summer. There’s really nothing like it anywhere else!

Shea: I will be here through the end of July. I really do like the city in the summer — I love the energy of the parks and beaches.

Winston: Not only am I staying in the city over the summer, but I love New York during the summer. People are always outside, whether that means enjoying company in the park or sitting out for dinner with friends. I really appreciate the energy that comes with summer in the city.


Are you taking or teaching any classes over the summer? 

Guynn: This year I am excited to team up with some engineering experts from NYU’s Masters program to provide two summer courses, a middle school robotics course and a high school cyber security course, for the last two weeks in June to Poly students. The instructors are incredibly impressive. They are bringing valuable knowledge and expertise to the summer program. I know I will be able to learn from them too. 

Shea: Yes, I’m going to be taking a class on Chinese-American history! I’m so excited! 


What do you have to do over the summer to plan for next school year?

Guynn: I have a new elective that I will be teaching, so a lot of my work time will go towards creating the curriculum. 

Shea: I have to read. Historical scholarship is always changing, and the summer is my time to read as much as possible. Reading helps me think about the essential questions for my classes and how I want to frame each course for my students.

Winston: This summer I plan to work with the Middle & Upper School Deans to develop a plan for the return to school, as well as partner with Mr. Doughty and Ms. Bates to think about how we might work together to improve upon the Poly experience for students and teachers alike.


Do you have any summer holiday traditions?

Guynn: I have a Juneteenth tradition when I meet up in the park with a large group of my friends. We barbecue, play games, and dance to music till the sun goes down! 

Shea: The week after the 4th, we like to bring together family and friends from our different work and social lives for a party in the park. It’s a lot of fun to see everyone and get different groups of people talking to each other. 

Winston: I do not have any summer holiday traditions. I prefer to go with the flow!