Working contractually in Korea means that you have to fulfill a lot of requirements; one of them happens to be leading winter camps.
Now, every school is different in their scheduling for camps. Some people don’t have to do one at all, some school have huge budgets for supplies while some schools give no budget, some school’s require week long camps, some people have to work 2-4 weeks with the same kids. The saying holds true for Korea: It. All. Depends..
My school gave me two week-long camps. The first camp was 1st grade middle school, from 9-12 Monday-Friday; camp two was the following week with the 2nd grade middle school students. I’d say that’s the most common, actually.
Now for camp, you are expected to prepare the entire camp schedule by yourself and you work alone; no coteacher, which is nice because you’re free to do whatever you seem fit. The only downside would be if you have over 20 students sign up with low level english. The students sign up themselves, and its pretty much up to them if they want to actually show up. Whether on time, or everyday, or at all.
I had 16 first graders sign up for week 1, and 5 second graders sign up for week 2.
But for the first week only 5 showed up everyday. The most I had on any given day was 10; but 5 of them only stayed an hour. I was extremely unlucky because the 5 that DID show up spoke NO english and had no motivation to do anything except eat. It was a disaster.
I planned a week-long Hogwarts themed camp, where they would take different Hogwarts courses like potions, Divination, and Herbology.
Monday: I was completely expected 16 kids and the activities I would have them do. But 5 showed up, so I could no longer separate them into groups. So I told them that, and that’s when I learned the hard way…. they don’t speak English. The kids laughed and started speaking in Korean to each other about how they had no idea what I just said. I asked them what they wanted to do while we wait for the others (who never came) and I got blank faces and a few “I don;t know English”s in Korean. Awesome.
The students asked to use the computer and tried to watch KPOP the whole time, but obviously that would not be acceptable to my school so I said if they want to watch music videos they have to be in English, to which one student straight up told me no, and proceeded to play Big Bang.
Naturally, that was the exact moment was the principal walked in.. TYPICAL.
This was at about 9:40. Only 40 minutes into the 3 hours.. He told me to let them go home at 11:20 so we could have a staff lunch. Thank the gods for that bit of news! So I showed them a movie for the rest of the time.
Tuesday: 10 kids showed up this day. I had planned to complete Mondays activities then instead. But the kids came in with academy homework so I let them work on that for. Then I moved on to the actual camp schedule. One of the activities was to make a wand and fill out a little worksheet. They made their wands, but would not do the worksheet. So that was another slap in the face because I wanted them to present.. The next activity was to be sorted into their houses, however with now 8 uninterested kids because 2 had to leave at 10:30 I showed them the rest of the movie from the day before, per their request.
Wednesday: 6 kids. A top supervisor was coming in to the school to check up on school activities. Two or more camps were taking place at my school at the same time; one was cooking camp. So, my coworker said it would look better if english camp joined cooking camp for pictures and to pretend we are super professional and great employees. Thank god for this because it ended up taking until 11am. So with the final hour, I asked them to create their own Hogwarts house with each other as a group project, but since they didn’t understand, they complained that they didn’t want to draw, and they all started drawing individually. I let them carry on, because I don’t know how to say “work together!” in Korean..
Thursday: 5 kids. This day was going to be fun! Make mud pudding for herbology. But naturally, the pudding never arrived at the school, so they worked on their academy homework and we played card games, and I tried to get them to make origami unicorns but they were too busy playing candy crush. AWESOME. I had them help me decorate the english room with wizard stuff, then they begged me to let them leave early. So I parted ways with them at 11:30.
FriYAY: 5 kids. This day could not have come fast enough!!! Friday is Harry Potter movie party day. They worked on their academy homework and played on their phones during the whole movie. *upside down smiley face emoji*.
Still do not understand why they even came. For the free heated room? The candy? Probably the latter.
This is a work in progress as week two starts tomorrow. I’m sincerely hoping none of the 5 kids show up to be honest. But hey, we’ll see!! Maybe these kids will be more motivated. And maybe my pudding supplies will arrive. (please please) But also, my first camp made me lose all motivation so I’m not excited either way. We shall see how it goes.