Monday, December 29, 2008

Winter Camp Duty

One of the stipulations in my contract is that I work Winter Camp sessions during the children's holiday.

There are 2 weeks of this and both are interesting.

1st Week:
  • Held at my school from 9am to 12:10pm.
  • The week is split up with 3rd and 4th grade coming the first half, and 5th and 6th coming the second half.
  • Class size is 20 students.
  • Our theme is: Animation, make a diorama, role-play market, make sandwiches
  • It is more fun than serious.
2nd Week:
  • Held not at school but all the way in Chung-nam province, Chungyan. Several other teachers will be there.
  • 4 nights 5 days.
  • Sleep and live in cabins. Work is from about 9am to 8pm at night, with breaks for food in between. (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • The first and last day are more about ceremony than lessons.
  • Not looking forward to this one seeing how I have to leave the comfort of my home, but what the heck is part of the adventure.
Here for you is the email I received with further information:
Hello, teacher.

I'm Mr. Majaeok in Gunpo city-hall, I'm manager of Gunpo winter camp

I heard your questions about our winter camp

Gunpo English Winter camp will be held in Chung-nam province, Chungyang

You will stay in Chungyang Youth-Center that have pension or cabin

And You will teach the usual english expression to elementary students. (10~13years old)

The number of students are 75. we organize 5 group, the group has 15 students.

The subject of winter activity is snow sliding, flying a kite and Korean traditional games.

You will play with student and teach the usual english expression, naturally.

Because our camp is 4nights and 5days, You should prepare your clothes, toilet articles, and towers

We will give whole meal and some snack.

We will move through 2 big bus, please come to Gunpo City-hall 1st floor at 8:10 , 5th January.

I hope that my answer will be helpful to you. Thank you, see you later.
Wow, the subjects sound like PE activities. I just hope that they are not held outside. But I don't know how you can do kite flying indoors. :(

In a separate email there was attached our lesson plans which have subject matter that goes beyond these PE activities. So looks like they will learn Science and other subjects but through fun activities.

I feel some stress because one of the major things I struggle with as a teacher is being a fun person. I tend to explain stuff in a serious tone and then try to say something about it in a light and fun tone, but usually the kids just stare back at me blankly.


During this time I won't be able to blog...maybe the place will have some computers so I can check email. Well, that is my winter camp duty that most Public School teachers face here in one way or another.


  1. snow sliding? Is that sleding?
    SNOW SLIDING...indoors? What are you dreaming??
    Bundle up baby!
    & maybe head for the tropics on your vacation!
    When does that start?

    Winter camp sounds like a real adventure...enJOY! New scenery, see the countryside, etc...
    But try to get better b4 that.
    Pls see the Dr. again.

  2. Hmmm now it makes me think that we will be surrounded by snow. I need to buy a big duffel bag to take with me. Maybe get a few more sweaters. Damn you Winter!!!!!!

    I am feeling better. Rest and good food has been helping.

  3. I hope you're getting paid overtime for that many hours over your regular contract (the sleep-away camp).

    And find a way to get less teach elementary students English. It's NOT a tested subject in elementary school and in many ways you're there to be the Big White Person who teaches them that foreigners aren't scary.

  4. Secretly...the parents of these kids back home are turning somersaults to be without kids for a few days. Somehow some good karma should come your way for all this...
    Have fun and think about all the ecstatic kid-free parents whose winter you are making.

  5. For the little kids you might try riddles in English.....
    For the older kids "clean" jokes or stories about the things that they're into (Hannah Montana?? or whatever that age group is into)...
    Play games w/the little ones, like "Simon Says" or "Hot Potatoe"

    Ask them what they'd like to learn about the USA from you
    Student centered education is always a winner..because the student then has a vested interest in their own experience. would hope you are paid overtime for the xtra hrs.. Is there anyone whose been in that situation before you who can guide you about that. My experience in such things has been being told that activity was included in the gross salary amount in the contract.....GOOD LUCK w/that!

    What about a down vest to wear over other layers....I see people wearing such things, have never tried em myself. I don't like layering or bundleing! Prefer one v. warm layer under a warm jacket/coat. You might need hiking type waterproof boots for the terrain & snow.

  6. thanks everyone... I meant that I am serious but not to the point that we never have fun. I think what I really meant was that I need to talk a little slower for them to understand me. That is where the blank stares come in.

    Amanda ~ yes I will get the counted overtime. Already been taken care of with my coteacher.


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