Hayley Glatter
Hayley Glatter
Hayley Glatter is a former editorial fellow at The Atlantic.
  • Joe Camporeale / Reuters

    Major League Baseball's Educational Safety Net

    The league recently partnered with Northeastern University to provide players with access to advanced coursework.

  • Gary Cameron / Reuters

    Enrollment Crises and Budget Crises: This Week's Top 7 Education Stories

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  • Jessica Rinaldi / Reuters

    The Fall of MIT's Counter-Culture Dorm

    Residents of an eccentric hub at the prestigious university must move out of the building after a yearlong turnaround process failed to achieve its aims.

  • Your Summer Job Stories

    A young woman works in the produce department of a grocery store
    Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

    Last week, my Instagram feed was filled with photos of teenagers wearing blue leggings covered in white stars and tank tops decorated with American flags. It was Olympics Week at my former summer camp, and these counselors were not shy about their support for Team USA. I spent a total of 13 summers at camp—seven as a camper and six as a counselor—and though many of my campers are now counselors themselves, the photos still made me nostalgic for bug juice and tie-dye T-shirts. We asked readers to tell us about their summertime experiences, and both teens and former teens responded with stories of their warm-weather follies.

    Like me, a number of readers turned to summer camp to make the most of the months between school years. Rosa cited her job as Camp Leader as the first step toward a kid-centric career: “Those early summer experiences made a tremendous difference to helping me become the educator I became.” Abby, who spent six summers volunteering as a camp counselor,  described the selfless joy of making a child smile: “You don't do it for the glory, or the prestige, or the experience that's going to land you a C-level position, and certainly not for the money. We all do it for the kids.” For Daniel Yadin, who will return as a counselor to his camp in the Catskills this summer, camp is a critical part of his religious identity:

    Camp’s most important role in my life is as my primary Jewish space. I don’t have many. After my Bar Mitzvah, my family began attending synagogue less and less, to the point that we stopped maintaining a membership. So, Judaism-wise, I am left with this: a congregation of secular Jews in the mountains of New York State, spending the summer living and educating according to Jewish values, if not law.

    I certainly relate to Daniel’s response, not only because my camp is overseen by a Jewish nonprofit, but also because so many of my most vibrant summer memories are tied to that religiosity—making challah over a campfire; walking past older girls practicing their bat mitzvah Torah portions; and learning from our Israeli counselors. These experiences strengthened my religious identity because, quite simply, they were fun and social—a balance to my Hebrew school education, where I learned the nuts and bolts of the Old Testament and how to read Hebrew.

    Of course, not everyone spends their summers canoeing and making friendship bracelets with campers. Nell, a 17-year-old from Massachusetts, will be wearing many different hats this summer:

    I will be working on a huge research paper for an institute at my school. I will also be an intern at my state house of representatives. And currently, I’m in the second of three weeks in Russia, where I’m living with a host family and seeing lots of Putin imagery. Each of these activities is strategic. It allows colleges to know more about me just by looking at my activities list. And everyone at my school has a strategic summer planned out.

    Last year, I worked at my local grocery store. I didn’t hate my job, but I felt so astoundingly bored. My summer this year promises not only to be intellectually engaging, but also will give me more free time and ability to see friends.

    But Clover, who grew up in rural Idaho in the 1980s, learned a lot from her less-than-glamorous experiences working at a grocery store—part-time during the school year, and full-time in the summer:

    My primary job was to clean the meat department each night. I scraped the floor, bleached the butcher blocks and cutting boards, and disassembled the hamburger grinder, carefully scouring each part. I also dismantled the chicken rotisserie and cleaned each part. I bagged up all the scraps, knotting the trash bags securely so they wouldn't attract vermin to the dumpster area.

  • Kacper Pempel / Reuters

    Presidential Searches and Cyber Hacks: This Week's Top 7 Education Stories

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  • The Camp Counselor’s Commitment

    A man walks through the woods
    Jim Cole / AP

    Neutrogena spray sunscreen smells the best. Coppertone face sticks are waxy and heavy. And if a parent insists on the old-fashioned lotion, hopefully it’s not store-brand, because that stuff takes forever to rub in. Sun protection is very nuanced.

    I’m a bit of an expert on the subject, having spent spent six summers mastering sunscreen—that most necessary of hot-weather evils—as a camp counselor. While some of my teenage pals scooped ice cream, sat in lifeguard chairs, and lugged around other people’s golf clubs, I spent my days shepherding a group of 15 third-grade girls around 100 acres of land in northern Illinois.

    But our experiences are becoming increasingly rare. As my colleague Derek Thompson reported earlier this month, fewer and fewer teens are working paid summer jobs—the days of simultaneously earning a tan and minimum wage are being traded for hours spent studying and working unpaid internships. The explanation for why, as Derek notes, is multifold, ranging from an increasing drive to prep for the academic year during the summer to a decline in the “cool” factor associated with working a short-term gig.

  • Paulo Whitaker / Reuters

    Summer-School Revivals and Literacy Pig Arrivals: This Week's Top 7 Education Stories

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  • Brian Snyder / Reuters

    Tech Giants and Diplomatic Crises: This Week's Top 7 Education Stories

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  • Vincent West / AP

    Chess Champions and Budget Bellwethers: This Week's Top 7 Education Stories

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  • Kamil Krzaczynski / AP

    How Education-Funding Formulas Target Poor Kids

    Thirty-five states have policies engineered toward sending extra dollars to needy districts. But not all are successful.

  • Patrick Fallon / Reuters

    Graduation and Gentrification: This Week's Top 7 Education Stories

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  • Lisa Rathke / AP

    Why Expanding Access to Childcare Isn't Enough

    Quality matters quite a lot—especially for boys.

  • Eric Thayer / Reuters

    Internet Addictions and School-Board Afflictions: This Week's Top 7 Education Stories

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  • USA TODAY Sports / Reuters

    The Healthy Nostalgia of Derek Jeter

    The New York Yankees recently retired The Captain’s number and inducted him into Monument Park—signs of transition that make it easier for fans to move on.

  • Carolyn Kaster / AP

    Student-Government Politics and Identity Politics: This Week's Top 7 Education Stories

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  • Bebeto Matthews / AP

    Sexual Assault and Free College: This Week's Top 7 Education Stories

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  • Spencer Selvidge / Reuters

    The Most Polarized Freshman Class in Half a Century

    Survey results show first-year college students are more politically divided than ever before.

  • Andy McMillan

    The Path to Higher Education With an Intellectual Disability

    The number of degree-granting institutions with options for these students is growing.

  • Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

    Swelling Classes and Border Passes: This Week's Top 7 Education Stories

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  • Mike Blake / Reuters

    Sports-School Scams and Capitol Hill Plans: This Week's Top 7 Education Stories

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