Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sports Day in Korea

Sports day is a huge deal.  My students have been practicing outside everyday before school for a month. Most of it was pretty standard, running races, relays, etc. Some of it was wonderfully Korean though. For instance, the coordinated warm up workout/dance routine thingy. Apparently, my co-teacher got graded on her ability to do this as part of her education degree. These are the first graders...they are slightly less coordinated than the upper grades. Immensely cute though!
I have no idea why international flags were hung. I mean there wasn't anything particularly international about the day, unless you count the fact that I was there. Which...I don't though the first half hour was full of intensely uncomfortable stares from the parents.
Okay, so at this point some of my 5th graders are putting on cone caps. My first two reactions were...really bad KKK imitators or dunce caps. I had no idea what on earth they were doing. Until...
The 6th grade boys hoisted them onto their shoulders and started charging the red team.
The goal was to knock/grab the hat off of the other team. It was absolutely hilarious to watch and the boys participating were laughing pretty hard too.

Next up for completely and wonderfully Korean (or at least, I'd never seen it before Korea) was the Hanbok race. Two 4th grade girls ran, put on hanbok as quickly as they could and then were helped up (and supported) while they ran down the backs of every 6th grade girl.

My absolute favorite race though was the 6th grade partner race.  Basically, 5 kids would sprint a short distance and then pick up a paper. They had to then find the teacher or person (for instance, parent with a hat or sunglasses or whatever), grab their hand and dash to the finish. Since my co-teacher and I are the youngest teachers in school...our names came up a lot. It was really a lot of fun and there was much laughter all around.

Basically it was a pretty awesome day. Instead of teaching I helped call who was 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in races, stamped hands, gave out programs to parents, and ate lots of yummy snacks. The principal noticed my great love for the pumpkin jelly candy (he has yet to realize that I love any sweet without milk in it) and asked the PTA mom cleaning up the left overs to give me a giant thing of it. Which of course, I finished before dinner time. Rest assured though, I found out exactly what it was, how to spell it and where to buy it from my amazing co-teacher. Yesterday, I bought a gigantic bag of it.

Spaz attack: NONE! An entire day of being active without tripping over my own feet, crazy!


Kyle Crum said...

For a country so obsessed with education, I'm always surprised by the time spend on non-educational (or questionably educational) activities. Either way, less work for teachers!

Alex said...

Yeah, even in the States we only have one big sports day a year. Here there are two. However, the kids really love them and it's hard to begrudge them the pleasure!