Vacation and summer camp

It’s been a long week. The students finished writing exams last week, and the vacation starts tomorrow. As you can imagine, the kids have not been that keen to do any work, so the past week or so has been a balancing act of trying to keep their attention while still doing some work. I managed to work Spongebob episodes into my lessons this week, and this was a winner. The kids enjoyed watching the show, and I was still able to teach the work I wanted by being creative with worksheets and activities. But I’m glad that’s all over!

My semester ends today (Friday), but the rest of the teachers and the students have to return tomorrow (Saturday) for some closing ceremony. I cannot begin to say how grateful I am that I don’t work Saturdays. It means I miss a two-hour long ceremony, and another obligatory school trip (also known as a piss-up). These things are ok in the beginning of the year, but to be honest I really need a break from my co-workers. I really get along with them, but I treasure my weekends and evenings. They are like gold to me! The people here really don’t understand that I’m an introvert so I really like my alone time (with my wife, of course). Here if you tell someone that you’d like to do something on your own, they ask you if you are feeling ok and if you need someone to keep you company. AARRGGHH!

The flipside of not working Saturdays, though, is that I will be spending the majority of the summer vacation at the school. Most of the other teachers will not be coming in. I have three weeks of summer camps scheduled, and then a week of preparation for next semester. I’m a little disappointed that I’ll be spending most of the summer vacation at the school, but at least I have a ten-day trip to China to break up the monotony a little. That should be amazing!

The prep for the summer camp is a little stressful. I’ll have 12 kids to look after for 4 hours a day, which is going to be pretty taxing. I have a sneaking suspicion that the kids are not going to be that keen to do anything that even looks like schoolwork. So I’ve planned several activities to keep things interesting, including our very own “English Olympics”, which is essentially a range of word games with the Olympics as the theme. I’ve also decided to teach them how to make sandwiches and coke floats. That is being reserved for the LAST lesson of one of the days. I’ll send them home all hyped up on sugar. That should be fun.

So for the next week I’ll be chanting a little rhyme to myself: “On Saturday I go to China. On Saturday I go to China…”


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