Summer. When I heard that word, I used to think of rest and relaxation. Family vacations. Summer camps. Hanging out with friends. I remember sports camps, nature camps, and swimming with my cousins. What I don’t remember is stress and early mornings.
Unfortunately, that seems to be the case with summer here. Instead of allowing their children time to relax, parents enroll them in extra classes because they “need to practice their English” or need to catch up on their math skills. There is no sports camp or nature camps–everything is related to subjects you learn in school!
As a teacher, this means that I have had quite a busy summer teaching extra classes. In addition to my typical 5 classes, I have been teaching a class that meets Monday through Friday, from 8:30 to 11:30. Thankfully, we are allowed to co-teach. The students show up five days a week, but I only work two or three mornings every week.
You wouldn’t think adding one extra class to your schedule would be bad, but summer school is a very different experience! Normal classes are 2 hours long, and summer school is 3 hours. Additionally, you have some students who love English and want to be there, and others who parents are forcing them to attend. When you have an intensive class, this affects class participation a lot!
Phase 1 of summer school was in June, and I was lucky to get a class, co-teacher, and TA that I got along with extremely well. The students were fun and eager to learn, my co-teacher (who is also a good friend) and I were able to keep each other up to date on the class, and the TA was an amazing help in making sure the students were learning all of the material.
But after a month of split shifts and spending and having four 12-hour days a week, you’re ready for a break! That’s not the case, though. My co-teacher and I were offered another class for Phase 2. Only after we agreed and we finished the first week did we realize how tired we were. Our new class is just as great as our last class, though, and we’re lucky for that!
Phase 2 has just started, but I’m already thinking about what sort of small vacation I can take when it’s done. I’m ready to rest, relax, hang out with friends, and get back to the summer I remember!