Teaching English in Daegu, South Korea!

Winter Camp. 영어 캠프

I’ve read about.

I’ve hear about it.

The stress.

The anxiety.

The madness!!!!

Winter English Camp. NET’s are responsible for this camp, and I guess for the first time ever the Korean teachers do not need to be at the camp. Interesting for me since I teach 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th grade in elementary school. I rely on my Korean co-teachers to help with understanding and to get the blank stares to go away. For 3 weeks I will be solo, ‘teaching English’ to 3 groups of 20 students; all of whose English proficiency differs widely.

First thing- I was told I need to make a schedule for Winter Camp. Soon that turned into a schedule and a booklet. This booklet I thought was just an outline, something to show the principal that I was working on it. After two days of working on it, I found out that it was the workbook/guidebook for the camps. Shit! I have to make 3 workbooks in 1 week!!! Each different levels and differing subjects. I could do nothing else but panic. For a week, I lived, ate and breathed in Winter Camp. I did not do my homework for Korean class, I did not go to the gym- I just planned, planned and made a workbook!!!!!!!!! Somehow, I pulled it off. Friday night I finished and e-mailed it to my co-teacher.


9:00-9:20 Routine, Key phrases and Vocabulary

9:20-10:20 Teaching subject (“class”)

10:20-10:40 Snack and Break time

10:40-11:00 Story time

11:00-12:10 Game/ Movie/ Choice time/ Free time/ Arts and Craft- whatever!

I had a hard time deciding how to divide the time and kinds of things to do. I found this blog- Kimchi Icecream and she talks about how she set up her Winter Camp. She brought up great points like; it is 4 hours of English. They are not used to such a long time having to think in English. I wanted there to be time to be free, less structured. I know that they wont be used to it, but hey, they wont be used to just having me as their teacher either! A lot to get used to haha.

Below I have given a couple examples of my workbook. I found out that I get paid for making sheets for camp. Strange incentive- “We want you camps to be fun but we will pay you if you make worksheets.” ??? Where is the logic. The catch is- it is capped at 10. I made 3 workbooks 1 17 pages, 2 19 pages. intermediate and advanced are very similar but still!!!

The front page to my workbook. : )

Table of Contents and the Camp Rules. I left space so that they could put examples or maybe even some sort of translation into Korean to help remind them.

Example of the layout of the book. This is the intermediate book Day 1.

Although I am ‘finished’ with the workbook, I have a long road ahead of me. I plan to use this workbook as only a guide. I would be bored to death if this was the only thing we were doing. They will be doing more interactive lessons and to appease my co-teacher I added a little box at the end of lessons so that they could record in some way what they learned. I want them to making something with their hands- not doodling in a workbook.

The Issues:

Other teachers at the school have expressed how “concerned” or “worried,” they are about me at English camp. I am not that concerned- I am way more excited. All of this “worry” is giving me a complex and making me feel like I should worry more? I have done camps for years. I know how to run a camp- let me try it people! Stop projecting your fears onto me. My co-teacher doesn’t want to plan or have much to do with the Winter Camp but her stressing about WC is stressing me out. She asks me nit picky questions like; “What will you do when a 3rd grader is doing (blank) and another is doing (blank)? What will you say exactly? What will you do exactly?”

Seriously? I can’t plan for that, all I can do is put in place an infrastructure that the student will KNOW what will happen to them if they do (blank) and another does (blank.) I think it will be a breath of fresh air for them to have some sort of consistency at school.

In short, I am super excited about Winter Camp and everyone else can get an ulcer while I am getting stickers and glitter. After Winter Camp I am off to a Daegu orphanage and then to Beijing for Lunar New Year : )

Happy Birthday to my dear friend; Merlyn!!! : ) Miss you and love you!

Also, Happy late Birthday to; Candi and Seany!! ❤ you and miss you two as well!!


Comments on: "Winter Camp. 영어 캠프" (7)

  1. Hi,

    I’m glad my post helped in some ways (though I wish my gender hadn’t been changed, lol).

    I’m shocked that your school thinks it’s okay for you to teach alone. I’ve taught grades 3-6 alone a few times and it’s VERY HARD. Even with some Korean language expressions/commands for the classroom under my belt, and really good lessons/activities/games, etc, it’s still really really challenging.

    I’d ask if there will be SOME teachers around the school during your camps who can help if an emergency arises, and/or if you just plain need help.

    I’d also add that if this ends up seeming like a complete and utter nightmare, and is beyond your ability to deal with, that is OKAY to say that you MUST have help.

    If your co-teacher stonewalls you on this, then let her know you’re going to the principal’s office with a Google translated letter explaining your situation, and asking for help.

    This is the ultimate trump card that always somehow motivates co-teachers to DO something, and to HELP you somehow. All too often they are unwilling to do something until it directly effects them, their reputation, etc.

    I wish you all the best as you do your camps.

  2. “I am super excited about Winter Camp and everyone else can get an ulcer while I am getting stickers and glitter. ”

    Haha +1

    I hope you still have some time to hang out when I arrive wide eyed and confused 🙂

  3. HAHAH Jason, I am so sorry! I didn’t really investigate fully- I just thought; “ice cream=girls.” haha, my bad. Your blog about Winter Camps SAVED me. So many things I did not think about!!! Helped me figure out specifics about my camp. I am sorry for calling you a woman I will make a change haha. Anywho, where are you teaching currently?
    As for no Korean co-teacher, they just changed it in Daegu as to where it is only for NET ‘s to deal with. No Korean co teacher needed. It is not their responsibility as per the DMOE (Daegu Metropolitan Office of Education.) Kind of messed up right? haha Crazy. I have 4 6th grade girls who are fairly good at English who are helping me manage the classroom and translate throughout the day. They couldn’t be more excited..I hope it lasts. haha

    @ Tala: Girl, I will be full of time! My coteacher will be opsiyo so I wont have random things to do haha. I am excited to meet you : )

  4. Hi Shannon,

    No problems, and you’re welcome.

    Julianne and I are in China at a government military university. It’s been alright, but China is a good 10-15 years behind Korea in terms of developing its EFL/ESL industry and infrastructure, and it really shows in the day to day operations and communications–that’s all I’ll say about that.

    Using the grade six girls is a good idea. Good luck with your camps.

  5. Hi Shannon. I saw that you’re going to be working at an orphanage in Daegu. I’m a teacher under the DMOE and I have been trying to find an orphanage to volunteer at during my freetime. Can you provide me some info? Thanks!

  6. Great ideas on the workbooks!

  7. […] is upon us: No, not the Christmas season (it’s barely registered with me this year) but the English Winter Camp season. Yes, while the other seonsaengnim enjoy a few months away from school and students, […]

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