Monday, July 25, 2011

Speed Ahead

My one week vacation ended this morning as Tom nudged me awake at 6:30. I know not to wake up immediately because of this, but when I did wake up I knew that three weeks of camp were ahead of me.


The camp at this school is different from the previous camps I have had in that it is a lot more academic. I have one group of kids for the whole time and we will be going through two major topics. These are Science and Reading, and the rest of it is "activities" and "drama." I didn't see the book until today, bright and early right before things started. Immediately, I realized this was going to be hard due to that it is mostly words and few pictures. The activities and drama section was apparently put together at the last minute as the materials originally submitted weren't accepted. We've ended up with one topic for each week, and very few hands-on materials for it while mostly relying on data in the book. The drama section, although put together very well, is way over their heads.

In the end, what you have here is a situation I always dread in this business. Being put in a room full of young low-level learners with non-matching material and a lack of a plan.

Today went by as chaotic as it could and I made due, trying fruitlessly to make reading games out of the material. But my batch of kids seems to be a mix of the really low so I am going to have step it back a notch. I had planned on showing them videos to accompany the Science material, which I found on youtube. But alas our internet is down. Another challenge added to the mountain of them.

After some talk with a senior teacher, I was told that mostly the goal is to prepare stuff for the open class (not judged) at the end and get the bookwork done. The children will work on the following items:
  • Making a class flag to carry at the closing ceremony.
  • Practice a role-play and perform it.
  • Practice a class chant.
  • Practice a class song.
As you can see, I will have things to keep them busy with for the next three weeks. Just that they didn't give us much in the way of drama scripts, material to prepare them for role-playing, chants and songs. Thankfully, I have experience in the role-play department and know what I need to do there, as for the chants and songs it is just a matter of giving them the lyrics and practicing a lot.

All right so camp is not what I expected and it is definitely different from years past. In fact, I really feel sad for not planning this camp and miss the fact that there is no "cooking" day.

In the meantime, I am trying to get ahead with next semester's planning. As for the lesson planning portion I am already a bit ahead but I want to get the materials made for at least the first month. I am the kind of person, unfortunately, who is not satisfied till something is done right away. It makes me end up being anxious and when something affects my path of completion I get all bent out of shape.

Last night, I had a conversation about this with JH and he told me how I need to relax and keep big goals in mind. Also, to keep my cool when something comes along that makes me have to change what I am doing. He is a big help to me, even though it takes some time to get him to understand it all completely.

Camp is just three weeks and we are suppose to just have fun with the kids, so I am going to try my best to kick back a little, play games and make it work in a fun way. However, I mostly just want it to be over.

I have a lot I want to post about trips that transpired during the last week. Let's hope all this work stuff doesn't get in the way!

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