Winter camp joys and sorrows

Winter camp joys and sorrows

For my winter camp I only had to teach at my school unlike my summer camps where I taught camp at my school and one other school. Winter camp is a grand total of 3 weeks, yes 3 weeks it feels extra long compared to most of my friend’s winter camps. 3 weeks of camp means 15 days, with four periods a day, with comes out to a total of 60 classes for winter camp! I wanted to die when I figured how many classes I had to lesson plan for in like 2 days. In addition to winter camp lesson plans that I had to plan I also had to type up my lesson plans for my after school classes that started back in August. But wait there’s more. I still have to maintain my 22 hours of teaching a week so to fulfill the missing hours of not teaching my co-teacher gave me story-telling classes with 1st and 2nd graders and well as teacher classes that I had to create lesson plans for.

Camp started the day after Christmas which I was really sad about. I just wanted to stay home that day, but it is what it is. Oh did I mention that I’m teaching my winter camp alone with 3rd, 4th and 6th graders? (for some reason the 5th graders never sign up for any of the English activities). I already knew how camp was going to go the moment that I found out that I would be teaching this camp without a Native teacher there. And I was right. It’s just an intensified version of my afterschool classes. My main co-teacher has this very strict rule that I speak zero Korean to my kids. But that’s impossible without her there to help me to classroom management or to help with instructions or vocabulary terms in Korean. Like in my after school classes I speak what little Korean I know to the students. I tried it one day during camp to do classroom management strictly in English and they just stared at me. They didn’t understand a single thing I said. The younger the kids are, I really think that it’s necessary to use some Korean in the classroom. I mean there English leave is basically the same as my Korean level.

So I planned my winter camp to the best of my ability knowing the levels of the students that were going to attend. I had a budget of 20,000 won ($20) for camp. So I tried to keep the materials for camp to a minimal or try to use things that I can easily buy or already had at home or at school.

I counted down the days of camp everyday haha. Some days went by with a breeze, but other days I was pulling my hair out of head. There’s one little monster that just doesn’t care about learning English. He’s the same way during normal classes do I didn’t expect him to be any different during camp. But overall, I really think that my camp went really well. Hopefully some of the things that I taught during camp actually sticks with them. That’s really my main goal.

Tuna melt sandwiches

Also during camp I taught story-telling classes with 1st and 2nd graders. Now these kids English level is like zero. So I have to use Korean with them. These kids are super cute. I don’t normally get to interact with them, only the occasional passing in the halls where they greet in Korean first and then quickly change it to a “hi.” During our first meeting I spent some time just trying to learn their names. I really think that it’s important that they know that I know their names. Its makes them more interested in me, so they’re willing to ask me more questions and they’re more interested in English. During class the students are really surprised that I know their names, but I also hear them talking to each other saying “you know Maysa teacher knows my name?” It’s cause I do, I think that most likely know the majority of my student’s names, especially the older kids.

Oh I have to mention my staff during winter camp. Not all the teachers have to come to school during winter break and the ones that are teaching camp come in only until lunch and then they leave. There’s maybe at most 5 teachers including me that have to stay on campus till 4:30. One of favorite parts of the day is when I have lunch with my staff. I get a phone call from them around 12:35ish everyday saying “Maysa, lunch time.” There’s no school lunch because the school’s on winter vacation, so the staff prepares meals for each other or we go out and eat. It’s really like I’m to my aunt’s house for dinner every day. Words can’t express my gratitude I have towards them. Everything from setting up the meals, eating and cleaning they won’t let me lend a finger to help. I have to really push to even wash the dishes or take out the trash. I couldn’t have asked to placed in a better school than at Yakdong. I love the staff and students here, which makes it that much harder that I’m staying another year but not at Yakdong.

Camp is finished! That means I start my winter vacations! Yay! And where is the location of this vacation? To simply put it, home <span class='wp-smiley wp-emoji wp-emoji-heart' title='<3 Since I’m staying in Korea for at least another year, I’m heading for a much needed trip home to see my family and friends. But talking to my sister about my trip home it seems more like I’m going home not to see everyone but to eat. I can’t hide my excited about going home for a few days.

So much more next time,


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