This was my second camp with Jungmyung High School. I was a little worried about what type of camp I needed to do. The teacher in charge originally told me that it needed to be a writing and reading camp. So as usual, I over planned the entire camp.
Which turned out to be a good thing as the teacher said I can switch it up. He said I didn’t have to do as much reading, because it was only for the budget that he needed a plan that included a lot of it. We covered topics such as code-switching, social media, animal cruelty, bullying, resolutions, family, and sex.
Teaching about sex in high school? I’m not trained in it, but I decided to start our second to last class together by asking basic questions. What makes men sexy? What makes women sexy? The students would work in groups at their tables and discuss their ideas. Then someone would report their groups’ thoughts to the class. One table of second year boys would play rock paper scissors to decide who had to speak. One boy said, “Big…” and motioned to make a hump over his chest, boobs. So I yelled, “Boobs!” And everyone laughed.
The class was interesting I didn’t go into details about a lot, but rather asked them to name different types of contraception, and a few different STDs. They asked if they could use their dictionaries and I said of course. A few of the girls felt shy, but after we discussed the topic and they saw different statistics they had to write a journal entry. Many were embarrassed, but at the same time they felt that it was important. One boy who dropped in for my class wrote, Teacher, I learned a lot today. I will remember to always wear a condom. Another boy told me that he learned more from me than what they are taught in school. Korea is a fast changing society and I thought it was a topic that is pertinent to their lives. Some people may call me crazy to teach it or even discuss it.
But it was interesting to hear answers to the following questions: What is a healthy relationship? What is an unhealthy relationship? When are you ready to have sex? Do you know anyone who has had sex? What’s the difference between relationships in elementary, middle, and high school? What do you think of teenage pregnancy? What do you think of multiple partners? Their answers were really interesting. And if they felt they learned even one thing from my silly lesson, which is great. I had a blast with it and so did the students. But I think the kids’ favorite day was our last day. During the course of our 9 days together a table of second year girls asked me, “Teacher let’s cook. Can we cook?” And I looked at them and shook my head. But, then I thought about it for a bit and came back with an answer the next day after talking to their main Korean teacher.
I said, “Now listen. We are going to have a cooking day. It will be our last day. But, it has to be a secret or we will all get in trouble with the principal.” The kids all eagerly shook their heads and I gave them three options to choose from. “American Breakfast!!” They screamed.
It cost quite a bit to get the ingredients, but luckily the other teacher gave me some money towards it. We made pancakes, bacon, eggs, and bagels. We had real maple syrup, butter, jam, and cream cheese. The kids were ecstatic! I explained how each group was in charge of bringing a pan, gas burner, spatula, and whisk. As I figured at least one table would forget a few things, I brought my own cooking utensils. It was so much fun to eat and watch the kids enjoy eating. I would definitely do it again in a heartbeat. One thing I really like about teaching at this school is I have seen a lot of the same students over the past year. They also look forward to me coming in future camps and speech contests. I look forward to the next time I get to see them!