In South Korea, the school year begins in early March and ends at the end of December. That means that we’re quickly reaching the end of the semester and the end of the school year! It’s crazy to think that there’s only a couple more weeks of lessons left. We’ve been keeping busy planning the rest of our lessons and preparing for our winter camps.
We get 24 days of vacation in the winter — which is awesome! When we’re not on vacation, we’re working in our office (called desk-warming) or working on a winter camp with students. Some people dislike desk-warming because they think of it as a waste of time and would rather be at home getting more vacation time. Nick and I look at it in a different way. For one, we’re lucky to get 24 days off. That is a blessing in itself. With the other free time, it’s an added bonus because we get so much time to prepare for the upcoming semester. I plan to use my time to pre-plan lessons and activities so that I’m as prepared as possible for the new year.
Some of our time is also spent doing camps. Most teachers have to teach 2 weeks of camp during the winter break. This is a way to keep students learning, but it’s more fun than regular classes. We can do a lot more games and crafts and generally have more freedom. Nick also has the opportunity to teach a couple of extra camp classes at my school during his desk-warming time. This is because my school brings in a couple of other teachers so that we can all contribute lessons and activities. The added bonus is that Nick will also get extra income from this.
It’s weird to me that we won’t see students for 2 months! It will be nice to start the new school year already feeling more comfortable with our schools and co-teachers.
Other than school and exploring here, we’re making last minute vacation plans for our winter vacation. It’s so different planning for a vacation in another country because there is so much to think about — transportation, events, etc. We’re narrowing down the details and are getting excited to explore another country!
As far as winter weather goes, we’ve only seen flurries a few nights. The snow hardly lands in our town because we’re so close to the coast and the weather is warmer here than other parts of South Korea. In places like Seoul (a 5 hour drive from our town) there is a lot of snow on the ground!
We bought a small Christmas tree and have it lit up so that our apartment has some Christmas spirit! 🙂 I will leave you with two pictures — one with it lit in the daytime and another with the lights off. Now we just need to start watching some Christmas movies to really get in the mood!
Well, that’s all for now. Be sure to check out our next post, which will discuss school lunches in South Korea.