At the end of December and the beginning of January BreeAnn and I were asked to do winter camps. A winter camp lasts one week and is a time for students to focus on English. I had two winter camps and BreeAnn had four. I think we only new one or two other teachers that had to do four winter camps. Camps can be fun, but they are a lot of work. BreeAnn had her hands full, because instead of using curriculum made for camp, it is often up to the English teachers to come up with activities.
In my winter camps I helped plan for a day of learning about conversational English in restaurants. Students were asked to create their own restaurant including signs and menus. Another day was focused on games. Everyone had a blast playing games like Uncle Dooger, dodgeball, and capture the frisbee. Being Rec Fun Guy at Riverside Lutheran Bible Camp really prepared me for that experience. Kids especially enjoyed dodgeball with six balls compared to playing usually with only one. A third day I talked about Christmas. Koreans often celebrate Christmas, but it’s more like a romantic holiday for couples, like Valentine’s Day. However some families do celebrate it by getting together, giving gifts, and having a small tree. One of my favorite moments was singing Christmas carols with my class.
Along with winter camp, I was responsible for teaching kindergarteners, first, and second graders. And wow, were these kids cute. I taught them things like shapes, colors, days of the week, and numbers. At times there was difficulty conveying some of my objectives because there was no other teacher in the room to translate, but I found that most of the time students were able to absorb the new language like sponges. I also observed that it doesn’t matter what culture you are in, funny voices, silly songs, and acting like a crazy man makes kids laugh.
Now that it’s mid February things are changing quickly in schools. Teachers who have been in a school for four years are required to teach at another school, probably even a different grade. With all of this happening we can sense all the uncertainty and stress coming from the teachers in our office. Both of BreeAnn’s and possibly both of my co-teachers are leaving the school. And although it’s February 17th, they still don’t know where or what they will be teaching March 2nd when the new school year begins. Things move fast here and we have to be ready to turn on a dime.
BreeAnn and I are hoping and praying that in this season of change we will get some great co-teachers to work with and some nice students to teach. In about two weeks time, everything is going to be different.