Winter Vacation in Korea

Winter vacation in Korea is almost upon us. It’s finally the last week of classes! As I write this, I am breathing a long sigh of relief. I appreciate my job and the energetic children I work with, but the time has now come when I’m in desperate need of a break.

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 10.10.11 PMA really long, out-in-the-sun, adventure-packed Southeast Asian break. But, there is one thing that stands in between me and my much-needed vacation, English Winter Camp. Yay! (pure sarcasm)

If you are thinking about moving to Korea, all native English teachers are responsible for planning ten days of summer and winter English camp.

The Planning Process

The planning process can happen in one or two ways, you can either copy verbatim what other native teachers have done on Waygook — an online community for foreign teachers where lessons, materials, and ideas are shared — or you can be super creative and create a camp based out of your own personal interests. 

At the end of the day, it’s entirely up to you. Your only obligation is making sure some aspect of English learning is being studied and implemented throughout the camp. After all, it is called English camp for a reason.

It’s An Investment

Camp is definitely an investment. I started thinking about the theme of my camp at the end of September. Why so early? Well, the days go by so quickly. It’s wise to think ahead. 

At first, I wanted to copy a reading camp I found online. But, copying someone else’s hard work gave me no motivation. So, I used what I found as a sample to what I eventually wanted my camp to become.

Instead of a reading camp, which sounds super boring by the way, my theme became “Storytime Olympics” for my third and fourth graders and “Imagine Film Fest” for my fifth and sixth graders.

The amount of work these two camps have taken, I can’t even put into words. But I know by the end of January 13th, I’ll be happy I prepared thoroughly on the front end.

Showcase Your Skills

English camp is also a time when your Korean teachers (KT) learn from you. Throughout the school year, the native teacher shares a classroom with their co-teachers.

Camp is a time when the native teacher becomes the head teacher and your KT is more like an assistant. In that regard, you should put your best foot forward. All the things you only wish your KT would do throughout the year, you can implement during camp.

Better cooperative strategies can be exercised as well. It’s all about a consistent flow of ideas coming together as one. So, don’t be afraid to showcase your skills in all facets of the English classroom.

Finish Well

Sometimes camp planning never ends. During the summer, I found myself modifying previous lesson plans I’ve made to adjust to the students I had present in my classroom.

But as I stated before, the days go by super quickly. One day it’s Monday and you’re at the opening ceremony then, at the blink of an eye, it’s Friday and you’re hosting the closing ceremony.

One thing that will make the whole process go by smoothly is planning ahead and putting your best effort in each day. Your vacation will be well worth it at the end.

Plus, you’ll be able to enter the new school year with greater dignity and respect not only from your students but also your colleagues because you were able to showcase your skills as an English language teacher beautifully.

Have you taught in Korea before? Did you have to create winter and summer camps for your classes? How did it go? Let us know in the comments section below. 

picWillynn taught in the education field for three years. It was her curiosity and interest to see the world from a different perspective that lead her to Daejeon, South Korea. Willynn is currently working with young learners teaching English for EPIK in South Korea. In her free time, Willynn loves to go on adventures with her husband, Micah, engage in language exchanges at coffee shops with the locals in her community. As well as participate at Open Mic events across Daejeon and Seoul sharing her spoken word pieces. Follow Willynn on Youtube  or on WordPress.

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