For those of you who don’t know what English Winter Camp is, let me quickly explain.  Although winter break in Korea is 6 weeks long, many teachers are required to hold “camps” for a few weeks of break.  Most camps only last 2-3 weeks, and each day is only 2-4 hours.  Each school decides the details of their own English camp – like the content, length of time each day, etc.  Another thing each school gets to decide (technically) is if the English teacher can leave the school when English Camp is over for the day.  The Busan MOE (in charge of all the schools in our city) has two conflicting policies: one is that all teachers must stay all day, even if they have nothing to do, and even if there is no English camp.  The other policy is that it’s actually up to the school.  But if English teachers complain, then everyone is asked to stay at school, so if your school situation sucks, it is your duty to shut your mouth and not ruin it for everyone else.

This summer, my Vice Principal was nice and usually let me leave after English Camp was over each day.  But I have a new Vice Principal, and he insists that I stay in school all day, every day, camp or no camp, work or no work.  And our entire school is under construction, including my own classroom.

I’m not complaining, and I will never share this information with the MOE.  Because even though all (yes, everyone I know) of my friends who are teachers here get to leave school after English Camp is over (anywhere from 11 AM – 1 PM) and don’t have to be there during the days if there is no English Camp, I don’t think they should have to forfeit that just because I do.  It’s not fair, but if anyone’s situation should change, it’s mine not theirs – but complaining won’t change my situation, it will change theirs.

So anyway.  Camp was great!  I loved it.  But sitting around in my classroom (which, did I mention, is under CONSTRUCTION half the time – should I even have to be in a classroom where they are power drilling through my ceiling and cutting holes out of my floor every afternoon?  I feel like that’s a safety hazard) for four hours every day with nothing to do really does weigh on my nerves.

So if you’re a public school teacher enjoying your afternoons off, I just have two words for you: ENJOY IT.