Less than 2 weeks left!
Yearbooks for the graduating 9th grade class arrived today. Page after page of colored portraits of each class being themselves - cute and quirky. I was eager to get my hands on one for memory sake. And especially because today was the last day of class and I was feeling particularly bittersweet about the end.
… Until I was told that these books were ordered way in advance and subject teachers don’t normally receive one.
I was devastated. “Well, you took LOTS of pictures with your students all year,” my coteacher tried to console me. She was right, of course, but I still REALLY wanted one and I pouted rather petulantly.
After lunch, I went back my classroom to find a beautiful blue hardback yearbook on my desk! Joy! The homeroom teacher for class six had endured a particularly difficult year with her overly exuberant and noisy class. Ironically, class six was my favorite class because they were so enthusiastic and competitive.
Anyway, she was apparently quite “over it” and didnt feel the need to keep her yearbook. Much to my gain and delight. My face was seriously like ^_____^
Graduation ceremony tomorrow! I’m off to get as many signatures in my yearbook as possible
Remember how I had to organize and run my own English Camp for interested students during Summer Vacation? Well, the same thing applies to Winter Vacation. Unfortunately, I felt stuck - my summer ‘Harry Potter’`themed camp was (in my opinion) an amazing and well-put-together program. Students raved about how much fun it was. How was I going to top it? What theme would I follow this time?
I thought long and hard. The lesson plan deadline came and went and I still didn’t have any ideas.
Then I just came up with a decision: “No theme! Just have fun! (with a side of English)”
And have fun we did.
Day 1: Music Day
Students learned the history of popular genres of music - from Elvis to the Beatles, from Bob Marley (reggae) to Louis Armstrong (Jazz), from techno to KPop. They listened to Daft Punk’s song “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”, wrote the words on their hands with a marker, and learned to follow along with the song.
(watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSH0pIamEGA)
Day 2: Cooking Day
Students watched clips from the Food Network series ‘Man vs. Food’ and created their own crazy food challenges with unique ingredients. We discussed terminology to describe food (“That sounds… delectable/savory/palatable/disgusting/etc) and for measuring (cup, ounce, tablespoon, teaspoon)
I told the students to bring in a carton of flavored milk, any flavor (strawberry, banana, chocolate, caramel coffee, etc) and 3 tablespoons of sugar. I brought bags, rock salt, and ice and we made ice cream in a bag as a class.
shake shake shake!
While, yes, I know.. making ice cream in 15 degree F weather was a little bit crazy and cold. But who doesn’t love ice cream?
Day 3: Egg Drop
The rules were simple. I would provide a bevy of materials (paper cups, toilet paper, balloons, plastic bags, string, tape). Students would pair up and create hand-made containers/parachutes for a raw egg. The eggs would then subsequently be dropped from the 2nd and then 5th story balcony. Try not to let the eggs break.
The egg devices:
Day 4: Interviewing a Foreigner
Students went on a field trip to Gimpo International Airport to interview foreigners and practice their English conversation skills
In theory, this would have been a great idea. Unfortunately, there were no foreigners to be found.
Day 5: Game Day
I divided the students into two teams - red and blue - and they competed against each other for the rest of the day with games such as Guess Who, Family Feud, and Minute to Win It.
Team poster competition:
Minute to Win it:
Teams each had one member attempt to do a deceptively simple task in under a minute.
task 1: pick up penne pasta with a spaghetti noodle
task 2: Using only face muscles, try to move a cookie into the mouth
task 3: put a puzzle together
task 4: separate colored candies into different cups
At the end of the day, the scores were close, but the Red Team prevailed
Two weeks of camp simply flew by!
My heart dropped a little as the last day approached; one more chapter closed before it’s time to go home. I’ll miss these little guys ;)
Two weeks of camp: FINISHED
Onward to two weeks of Winter Vacation!!
Today is the last day of the second semester. The school year is drawing to a close.
Next week is Winter English Camp, then Winter Break, then a week of deskwarming, and - finally - graduation.
How did time fly by so absurdly fast? Was it really almost a year ago that I first arrived to Korea? Or stepped foot in this school? Or cried because I felt teaching middle school was close to impossible? It’s hard to imagine those days now.
In October, I made a firm decision not to renew my contract. As much as I loved my life in Korea - great friends, good job, blissful independence - going back home just felt like ‘the right’ thing to do. Of course, this was difficult to explain to my baffled students and co-teachers. Why leave when the going is good?
With less than eight weeks left, I am just trying to make and preserve as many memories of my life here as possible.
I look at them like…
Submitted by IO
My teachers approached me after lunch and told me they need all my lesson plans for Winter Camp by tomorrow. Too bad my plan is just to ‘wing it’.
a head teacher makes the tardy students stand in a row outside and they get disciplined (names get written down, students recite lines, they are scolded, etc)
Today I was late to school, and tried to nonchalantly walk to the school doors when suddenly I heard a student shout: “But teacher is late!”
I quickly glared at him and was like:
“Today, we’re going to play Taboo!”
Some students cheered. They love games. They are very competitive.
“What’s a taboo?” I asked my class. They stared at me blankly.
I explained, “A taboo word is a word that has a bad meaning. Like a swear word. So-“
A boy eagerly raised his hand and stood up.
“F**k!” He said proudly.
“Son of B***h!”
Some other boys joined in and happily began to unleash a slew of swear words- in both Korean and English.
I was horrified: “This game is NOT about naming off as many swear words as you can! Let me finish my instructions!”
Embarrassed and disappointed, the boys quietly sat back down.
Because middle school 3rd graders have to send final grades and apply to high schools in November, final exams were at the end of October. As of last week, my 3rd graders are officially done with their cursory lessons so I’ve been filling up class time with games and culture lessons. Let’s just say… playing Taboo was definitely an interesting way to have my students practice English.