What do teachers do in the summer and are they paid for those months?

Depends on the teacher's agreement. In some places the salary is spread over 12 months. In others they get paid during the time they work. In some systems they can chose which way they want to be paid. Some teachers spend the time with their families. Some teach summer school or work in summer programs through camps, schools and universities. Others will take a course or two to work toward a master's degree or to get required Continuing Education Credits. I know one high school teacher that spent the summer building blast furnaces. He laid fire brick on the inside of the furnaces. He claimed to make as much during those three months as he did during the rest of the year. Teachers are also responsible for building a portfolio of credit hours to satisfy the needs of local, state and federal Standards Boards. It is up to teachers to carefully log, reflect and document each conference, workshop or community service they participate and link it to the State standards for teachers. (Think AMA for educators) .This requires an incredible amount of time and many teachers use the summer months to complete this work. Teachers are constantly fighting of the impression that they don' work for their pay in the summer. As mentioned above, many teachers receive a paycheck in the summer those funds are from hours they have already worked. The school withholds their pay so they get paid for 36 weeks. (The district also gets the interest on their money...nice for them.) A recent study of the amount of time teachers on academic pursuits and requirements of the profession when not teaching was significant. The study calculated that between the amount of hours working to prepare for students and keeping up with credentialing the total amount of actual "vacation" they received was about three weeks....about as much as other workers in the workforce.