Friday, July 20, 2012

I give summer camp a gold medal!

As many of you know, this year I was working with 1 year olds.  It was obviously not my dream job if you had talked to me in the past months, but seeing as I had to work in the Summer Camp, I requested that I be given a group of kids that could atleast string a couple of words together.  I was given the primary school kids - aged 7-9 and it was a dream!  I was back to teaching instead of baby-sitting and I loved it! 

A folder I made for a student

The kids were great from the start.  Although they had just finished an entire school year they still loved working and learning more stuff.  As I had been out of teaching for an entire year, I too was excited to be there. 

At the Mt. Igeldo Amusement Park on a sunny day
Over the 4-week long course, most of the students were signed up for every week, so I decided to do a theme each week so that they could focus on something and instead of it being random worksheets and handouts that had nothing to do with each other, that they felt like it was more a unit in school and they were able to see their progress.  I gave each student a folder and kept their work in it for the week and sent it home with them on Friday as a testament to what they did and also, having personalized the folders depending on the theme, a little memento of that week of Summer Camp. 
My students showing off their medals
Between summer theme (beach crosswords, sea vocab, Shipwreck games and so on) to Dragons (vocab that they'd never heard of - scales, fangs, etc), my favorite unit was this week when we did Olympics.  Being the last week, the kids were tired but the Olympics stuff really got them excited.

Charades with beach vocabulary

Each week we did a bunch of vocab exercises, grammar work, crosswords, wordsearches, games like charades to practice the vocab and reading stories.  Then, this Friday we added onto it by seeing the Olympics in action - we held our own games!  What looked like something out of a family reunion in the States, the kids were elated to do garbage sack races, spoon races with cotton balls, 3-legged races and more.  I had made some medals out of metallic paper and after each even we would have a medal ceremony.  For just being paper, the kids idolized the medals and were extremely excited to have me put one around their neck. 
Mummy Wrapping - the next Olympic Sport!

Field Trip to the Library!
Along with games and grammar, the entire Summer Camp group (my kids and all the younger ones) also took some field trips around the city during the course.  With a ride on a boat out off the coast of Hondarribia and a trip to a pupper museum to nice parks and even an amusement park, I actually had a pretty good time out of the school too.  At the Mt. Igeldo amusement park, which sits atop the biggest mountain in San Sebastian, I actually got to ride the roller coaster with my kids.  I asked the ride operator if I could ride it just in case one of the kids got scared....pshhhh really I just wanted to go on it myself haha!  While little it had been so long since I'd ridden one that I threw my hands up and screamed along with the kids. 
The folder of the boy who cried he loved camp so much!

While only a 20-day course, I feel that my teaching buzz has been re-energized.  I almost lost it there for awhile, because you can only 'teach' so much to a 1-year old, but back into the swing of things with elementary school kids, I had a blast just like the kids.  One kid today, when his mom came to pick him up, told me, 'Ok Ms. Amanda, I have to go home now' and I gave him his folder for the week (a medal podium in which he was the gold medal winner and two of his Summer Camp friends were silver and bronze) and gave him a little side hug and said he did great during the Camp and that I hope he had a great summer.  He ran off and I was a bit surprised at his reaction until a co-worker said she thought she saw he had started to cry.  My heart dropped.  I ran after him, along with all the girls in my class, up to his mother's car and she looked equally alarmed.  She asked me what had happened and I said I had just given him his folder and a hug and he burst out into tears!  What had I done?!  Are my hugs THAT  bad?  In between tears he told her that he had had such a great time that he didn't want the summer camp to end and that he wanted it to be next summer camp already so he could come back and have more fun!  The girls and I huddled up and gave him a group hug and he gave me one more hug and then got into his car.  THAT is why I love teaching.  Thank you Summer Camp for making me remember that and also sending me off to vacation with that as my last impression.


1 comment:

Mom said...

You come prepaired and make things memorable for these kids, that's great! Remember your babysitting box? Always prepared. Xxxooo