Friday, June 4, 2010

Field Trip Fun!

SO excited to be riding on a "big" bus...oh, and for the field trip, too

Everyone was lovin' the bus...

Of course the kids were decked out in their sun gear, Korean style

What a happy camper, always willing to smile for me

Don't worry about this group of schoolkids, just trying to show up our obnoxious yellow LCI sweatsuits with their REAL suits...

BFFs. Nice high-waisted pants, Kelly!

Just me and My Favorite...

Don't look too happy to be on that sheep, Ray

Smile and say, "kimchi!"

Don't worry about the wandering student in the rose gardens...he's one of mine!

Looking a bit space-age, Kelly

Jasmin showing off her kimbap lunch

Every student unpacked their little cartoon character tupperware full of homemade gimbap and fruit...and then they shared it with Britney Teacher, yum! I think John made this face at me because I asked for one of his kimbap rolls, and he didn't I just took one anyway...and I don't think that made him happy. Oops.

Jessica- beautiful!

Hannah, one of Shauna Teacher's students- what a visor!

The park area in the zoo where we picnicked- it was beautiful with the surrounding mountains

Keeping track of 100 tiny Korean kindergartners in a huge zoo- IMPOSSIBLE
Hello, class
A bit tired and crabby after a long day in the sun...ALL of us

Goodbye, zoo!

The Field Trip...equivalent to Christmas, for students and teachers alike. There is no greater joy than the experience of shepherding your children around a new environment, outside of the classroom...especially when that experience is accompanied by sunny blue skies and blissful 70 degree weather. Two weeks ago, we took our May kindergarten field trip to the Seoul Zoo and Children's Park. The day began with discoveries of simple joys, namely, the experience of riding on a "big bus" (coach bus), rather than trucking to te field trip site in the tiny 10-passenger LCI vans that typically serve as the school buses for LCI. I think the students were much more excited at the prospect of the big bus than they were about the zoo experience awaiting them later in the day. I have never observed such utter enthusiasm for reclining seats, window curtains, and large, tinted windows!
The bus ride was about 30 minutes long...and I spent the majority of that time squatting happily in the aisle of the bus, caught like a spectator in a fast-paced tennis match as I tried to keep up with the banter and broken English flying fast between my students on either side of me. Of course, there were requests to sing our recent song contest song, the always-popular "12 Months in a Year" (literally, a song which details the exact 12 months in the year).
I also learned a fair amount of Korean words on the bus ride...apparently, being set free from the English classroom provides the tempting (and somewhat daring) opportunity to teach the teacher Korean. The more outgoing students usually first throw out a Korean word once they have initiated a conversation with you (if you can even call it a "conversation," given that it's a 5 year old, and given that said 5 year old is in their 4 month of English), as if to test the waters for how teacher will react. Will she lap up the new knowledge of Korean vocabulary excitedly? Or will she choose to berate the student for speaking Korean, regardless of the classroom borders? I admit I'm a bit choosy with my reactions...I am definitely guilty of sometimes egging the children on to teach me Korean words here and there. In my defense, though, I have to say I've gained a vocabulary of quite useful words that are more applicable to teaching ESL (and kindergarten students, which is an even more difficult experience!) than you'd expect (my all-time favorite being ko pi, the word for bloody nose...because a kindergarten ko pi is an inevitable daily occurrence). Plus, there's no better medicine for when you're feeling down than to hear one of your students say, in a tiny, high-pitched voice, while sitting in your lap: "Teacher! Teacher! Banana in Korean is BA-NA-NA!" (And there's your Korean fruit lesson of the day: banana in Korean is banana, kiwi in Korean is kiwi, and mango in Korean is mango. Good to know, yes?)

It turned out that our day at the zoo was just as exciting and eventful- if not more!- than our bus ride there. Was it difficult to shepherd 10 equally energetic and curious children around crowds of other schools at the zoo? Absolutely. Was it worth it, to observe how my students act outside of the classroom, and to see the pure happiness on their faces when they saw the monkey cage or the guinea pig cage (yes, really) for the first time? Absolutely.
We finished off the day with a picnic lunch in the parks and gardens within the zoo. It was a beautiful setting, feeling surrounded by not only real grass and trees and open spaces, but also by the mountains looming in the distance. Each student dutifully unpacked their lunchbox stocked full with homemade kimbap (rice and vegetables, wrapped in seaweed) in little cartoon character-imprinted Tupperware. Some of the best kimbap I've had yet...because of course, every student shared their kimbap with teacher!
And also one of the best memories I have of teaching, and of Korea, yet...once again, The Field Trip pulls through.

No comments:

Post a Comment