Monday, 19 July 2010

Let the Summer Camp Fun Begin

Well, that was an interesting first day of camp.

I arrived at school early, opened up the classroom, and prepared for my kids to arrive. I’m technically supposed to start my day at 9:45 a.m., but I figured they’d trickle in a little late considering it was the first day.

10:15 a.m. rolled around, and my classroom was still empty. The first student showed up at 10:20 a.m., followed soon after by four more.

My schedule was up on the board for all of them to see, and it read:

1 – 9:45 – 10:30

2 – 10:40 – 11:25

3 – 11:35 – 12:20

4 – 12:30 – 1:15

Once they settled in, they looked at the clock (it was now 10:30 a.m.) and said, “Teacher, break time!”

I flat-out refused, telling them that we had just started, so the schedule was going to change for today. In response to my “dynamic” shift in schedule, I received five pouting teenage boys glaring back at me. What a great start…

As with all of my camps, the first thing I did was hand out a small questionnaire for them to fill out. It was nothing complicated at all, but I wanted to gauge how to structure my camp to suit their needs. I quickly discovered why these boys were dragging their feet every step of the way.

Here were the questions for the survey, and their responses:

1) What do hope to learn from this English Camp?

Five out of the five answered: English.

2) Why are you in English Camp?

Four out of the five answered something along the lines of: Mr. Kim said we’d die if we didn’t come (meaning that they were here as punishment).

The other student answered: Home is boring.

3) What is your favourite thing to do in English camp?

Five out of the five answered: Games

4) What is your least favourite thing to do in English camp?

Five out of the five answered: Study

5) How many days will you attend English camp?

Four out of the five answered: 4 days.

The other student answered: Never

After the survey, we warmed up with a Mr. Bean clip followed by some comprehensive questions. They loved the clip, but hated the questions. Only one out of the five kids was paying attention, and I really didn’t have the energy to try and whip the others into shape. They were trouble-makers of the class all year, and it seemed that all of us were in silent agreement that things were not going to change for this one solid week together.

I spent the last two periods letting them do what they do best. Make fun of each other.

I gave each of them a piece of paper and told them to draw their partner in a caricature-type manner. They then had to write down five descriptive sentences, and present their “masterpieces” to be put up on the wall. We finished right on time, and before I could say, “Goodbye,” they were already out the door.

Should be a “fun” week…

- Ken

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