Friday, January 28, 2011

English Camp

This past week me and several other volunteers participated in an English camp put on for kids. The English camp was held at a fellow volunteer’s village. The whole premise of the camp was to help the new group (my group) receive more practice working and teaching Samoan children. There were 12 of us total. 8 people from group 83 and 4 people from group 82. (83 is my group) The 82’ers were the ones kind of in charge of the whole operation. We were to stay in a church hall for the week. We arrived this past Saturday, and like most cases there was major miscommunication when we got to where we were staying. The church congregation thought we were arriving earlier then we did, and because all of the volunteers were coming from different parts of the island we all arrived at different times. However, we didn’t know that the congregation was waiting for us all to arrive because they wanted to have an ava ceremony. Let’s just say we didn’t make a good first impression. However, I think we redeemed ourselves the next day at church. We sang a song during church, and each gave a quick introduction of who we were. That seemed to ease things a lot. Monday was the start of English Camp and I must say I was a bit nervous. I had only had two prior weeks in a Samoan school. Therefore its was all pretty new to me. It was nice though because all of us got together and kind of planned our lessons together. The start of camp was a bit chaotic, and uncertain. I didn’t know my kids and I had no idea what kind of English background they have had in school. Because the camp was only a week long I had to do a quick evaluation of each child. However, I realized that it wasn’t going to be thorough as if I was in my own classroom. The days consisted of two parts: a morning class and an afternoon class. The morning class was the actual lesson, and the afternoon class was mostly games that somehow related to the lesson we had just done. Throughout the days I taught things like: verbs, body parts, and directions.  We played games like: Simon Says, Hangman, and several other games.  I had a lot of fun.  My first day I had 12 students by the end of the week I had 22. Same goes for the other volunteers. I found this to be a good thing because it meant that kids were going home and telling their siblings and friends how much fun camp was, and then they wanted to come too. Thursday after school we let the kids watch Aladdin. Friday being the last day was a big day. We had the English Camp Olympics! The 8 teachers were grouped into two’s. So there were 4 teams: America, Samoa, New Zealand, and Australia. My team was team America. We had relay races all afternoon. We did the crab walk race, the wheel barrow race, the 3-legged race, human knot, and dragon tails. The kids had an awesome time. My team came in last, but for the record the teams were stacked! My class had the smallest and youngest kids compared to Rachael’s team who had kids who were bigger than me! Nevertheless my kids were awesome, and did great. J After the races were done we gave out certificates to each child, and then of course…handed out ice cream cones. Other than the actual teaching of the lessons I have to say my favorite part was saying goodbye to the children. I know that sounds weird, but its true. I had student after student coming up to me giving me hugs and thanking me for teaching them during English camp. My favorite was when a student who was so shy during class walked with me all the way home and then repeatedly thanked me, hugged me, and waved goodbye until I was out of sight. It was those moments that made truly made me feel good. You can just hear the sincerity in their voices, and see it in their eyes. I absolutely love it, and them.
Assembly before English Camp

Peace Corps teachers!!

English Camp 2011!!!!

 My team, Team America!!! For the English Camp Field Day.
Doing the crab walk at field day

Getting their certificates at the end of camp.

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