Summer Camp 2013: I made it through

Merriam – Webster Definition
               camp: a place usually in the country for recreation or instruction often during the summer. a program offering recreational or educational facilities for a limited period of time.

My Definition
               camp: a beautiful childhood haven where children participate in wonderful things such as sailing, canoeing, swimming, eating, and any number of other fun activities. Perhaps the ratio is %20 educational (one must learn to sail) and %80 recreational. 

Korean Definition
                camp:  when students come to school for two and a half weeks out of their summer vacation for an intensive English studying program. It is called “camp” to disguise the fact that the poor kids are really just enrolled in a program where they sit and study for several hours of the day. Maybe the adults think that calling it “camp” will automatically make it more fun? The ratio is about %1 recreational and %99 educational.

           Camp is two and a half weeks long, with each day lasting from 9am to 5pm. To say that teaching that long is exhausting is an understatement, I lost my voice in the first week and it’s still not back to normal. It doesn’t help that I am basically a performing monkey when I teach, I like to engage the students and end up making an idiot of myself most of the time. 

           A conversation with one of my camp co-workers.

              him: “You are a really funny person to watch teaching, especially when watching through the classroom windows, but without being able to hear what you are saying.”

              me: “yes, I know. My teaching style is to make a fool of myself. 

           For the first week I found myself teaching the 3rd and 4th graders, exhausting, but their English is good enough that they know what I am saying at least some of the time. 

Hayley and I with our co-teacher Ms. Kim (Hayley’s half of the heart was a fail, oh well).

           For the second week I became the teacher for the 1st and 2nd graders. The little ones are completely adorable, but completely and utterly exhausting. My first day teaching them I was informed by one student that he had changed his name, from Avenger to…………… wait for it…………… Phantom. I knew from that moment that the week was at least going to be interesting.

My C1 Afternoon class, almost pulled my hair out several times because of these little guys. Phantom is the fourth kid back in the left line.

          For each group of kids (morning and afternoon) each teacher was required to teach a song. I knew that trying to get a group of little ones to sit still for 25 minutes to learn a song was just not going to happen, and would be torture for me. 

          My solution……………… the Cha Cha Slide.

         As my kids got better and better, I thought it was appropriate to have a group name, the kids might be a famous dance group someday after all. both classes came up with their own names.

Morning class: We are Super Junior!

These kids were epic on performance day.

Afternoon class:  Phantom wanted to name our group “Phoenix” and another kid wanted “Darkness”.  I was about to employ the solver of all classroom problems (aka rock, paper, scissors) when one of my other students raised his hand excitedly.

             Jacob: “Teacher!!!! Teacher!!!!……… Dark Phoenix!!!”
                                  We are Dark Phoenix!!

Observation: getting a group of 14 little ones to take a picture where everyone is looking at the camera and not moving is impossible.

Someone is always blurry, not looking, or doing something like the kid in the front with the yellow shirt. (His English name is Duck, I feel like that should explain something).

I had fun with the kids, but I have to say, I am beyond grateful that “camp” is over. I won’t have to do it again until winter “camp”. 

I would love to hear your thoughts!

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