Friday, April 20, 2007

Salamanca - Day 1

This is day one of my Salamanca Training Camp with 75 children aged 9 – 12. Well things didn’t get off to the best start when the bus we all turned up for early didn’t show!
We then had to get a public bus to the school and meet the coach, OK picture the scene – 8 teachers fully laden with bags and suitcases taking up most of the public transport; it was like a day trip for gypsies.

Anyway we finally met the coach and then had a 200km trip to Salamanca. The trip was long but kept busy with the hundreds of questions kids ask from “where are you from” to “how many tattoos do you have”. They are really perceptive and their grasp of English was better than expected. So I looked forward even more to the camp. Rather than teaching on this one I was going as a ‘monitor’ to ensure the children behave and are entertained, that at least I can do.

First lessons start and I survey my surroundings – OK first we are in a prestigious golf course, nice facilities; sauna, jacuzzi, driving range, squash court, tennis court, basketball, swimming pool etc you get the picture it’s the business, oh and by the way the weather is beautiful. When the lessons finished for the afternoon the games began; my bit. We started with a quick throw with the Frisbee, then joined by another group so we played a capture the flag type game (Quake to computer users) only on the field giving them an object to retrieve, that went well only I was on the girls team and they have obviously never played Quake, needless to say we lost 4 – 1.

However the boys had their own dirty tactics by getting four of them to hold my legs and stop me running or even walking, but it was funny. Then just to finish off a three legged race – which in itself took only two minutes but 10 to untie the laces

Then I took them swimming and to the jacuzzi they loved it, bodies diving in the water in every angle possible and some not so, but enjoying themselves; such a small area though the noise was amplified and soon a headache was on the way.

After dinner we had some games, we got the groups into teams – allowed them to pick their own names, shout out all their energy, and tax them one last time mentally with a quick fire quiz, this went down very well I thought, and it appeared all enjoyed it; even the teachers.We finished off with each group having to make a song using the following words – Spaghetti, Helicopter and Bumble Bee, it was like the Eurovision Song Contest all over again, words that make no sense and no real tune to hum to, but they loved the chance to perform.

Looking forward to tomorrow where we do it all over again, but different, that is if we all get through tonight.


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