For two weeks (eight days), four teachers taught students who were part of the Boston Program and four teachers taught “Winter Intensive” camp of students who had been to CEV before and were there to learn more. The Boston Program is an annual program that consists of students interviewing and taking tests to prove their English skills in order to travel to Boston for two weeks. This is the best of the best students that get to travel. They visit MIT and Harvard and even a Red Sox game while they are there. The four teachers that taught this program co-taught with their partner, so there were two classes. They were working with the kids to improve their conversational skills and taught them the do’s and don’ts of going to the U.S.
For the rest of us, we each taught our own class and it was a great change of pace being able to work with the same kids for a longer period of time and to get to know them a bit more. Every day surrounded a different subject. Rather than using the simulation rooms for Airport, Restaurant, Bank, Post Office, Hospital, etc., we taught Science, USA, Buildings, Weather and Olympics. Olympics was fairly relevant since the Winter Olympics will be coming to Seoul in 2018! On the last day of camp, we decided to hold our very own CEV Olympics for the students!
Each class was a team and we all created a team name and a flag for the “opening ceremony”. (Walking around 4 cones with your team’s flag in the front, haha!) Luke and I had 6th grade/middle school, and Sam and Stephanie had elementary – 4th and 5th grade. My team had the hardest time coming up with a name and flag for our class. Giving Korean students a creative assignment is like pulling teeth. They have no idea where to start or how to think outside of the box. After lots of questions and choices, my team’s name came to Winter Ice Cream Land. To no surprise, you can tell ice cream may have been on my brain. There was a very sad attempt at creating a flag in class, so I ended up making ours and showing it to them the next day which they seemed to like. Whatever I needed to do to get them motivated!
Events from a three-legged sack race and a paper airplane contest to bowling and a spelling bee were all very competitive. The kids were yelling and jumping around out of excitement and throughout the course of the day, the other teachers and I had asked ourselves why we thought this was a good idea. Turns out it was a great idea, we figured out how to tame the little boogers, and the kids ended up having a blast! We made a ton of gold, silver and bronze medals and gave out 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes for winners of each event. One of my students, Ben, was one of my team’s bowlers. He won the gold and was so proud! We got back to class and he said, “Teacher, I am bowling God!” as he stood up with his hands on his hips and the rest of the class laughed. He was a bit of a class clown so it was pretty funny but I was just glad they all had a good time. And can I just brag for a moment as my team won 5 gold medals and a few silver and bronze?! I was so proud. When the day was done, all of the teachers did what we always do at the end of the week and walked outside and waved to the students as they left. It’s always so cute and I think it’s the little things that mean the most. They always seem happy that we are out there sending them off.
Friday was clean up day, so we went into work, cleaned our desks, the classrooms, the simulation rooms, and prepared ourselves for our three week vacations! Luke and I went back to our apartment, packed, and cleaned up the next morning. We headed to Busan and shared yet another hysterical and interesting motel with Sam and Stephanie. One day later and we finally made it.
At the moment, I’m finishing this post in a guest house in Chiang Mai, Thailand where we will be spending a week. So far, its been amazing! I hope to post at least once or twice during vacation so you’ll have to wait until then to read more. Thanks again to everyone who has been following along! I love being able to document our adventures, but I love it even more that people are enjoying reading about them too!
“Chai-YO!” (Cheers, in Thai)