Sunday, April 26, 2015

adventures in teaching abroad: overnight camping at little ding dong

I have been teaching middle school since I was 21 years old.
That's kinda scary to think about.
It makes me feel old.
When I walked into my first classroom as the teacher, I was petrified.
I was convinced the kids would eat me alive.
But they didn't.
And I fell in love with my profession.
I am now 28, almost 29.
In all those years, I have taught more than 500 kiddos.
But to me, they are so much more than students.
They are these wonderful human beings I get to spend my time with.
They humble me, amuse me and inspire me.
And sometimes, I do things for them that I would do for no one else.
Like take an overnight camping trip to a place called Little Ding Dong.
The best way I can describe this camp experience is like an American summer camp.
The kids got to do fun activities: rock climbing, skiing & sledding (it's a looooong story), walking a tight rope and using paintball guns.
They had to sleep in tents they set up themselves.
They had to make their own food.
They got to put on performances around a bonfire.
They got to use glow sticks and jump around and be really loud + obnoxious.
Basically, they just got to have a lot of fun on a Monday and Tuesday instead of spend their time indoors at school.
I mean, that's not to say my class isn't really fun (I mean, really, we just did literary speed dating!)... although, we never play around with fire or glow sticks. 
Anyway, like I said, I do things for them I would do for no one else. 
Like dance on a barrel to Gangnam Style while they all watch and follow along, despite the fact that I may be the only person on the planet who does not actually know the dance to this bizarre song. 
And not run fleeing from a warehouse that has a bonfire exploding fireworks out of it only 15 feet away from me. 
Or eat food that they cooked (even after a few catastrophes: lighting oil on fire and dropping critical ingredients on the ground). 
Yes, these are the things I do for them.
But they are worth it.
And even though I hope I never have to, I would do all these things for them again.
If you knew them, you would too!
To say they had a good time would be a vast understatement! 

Wanna read more about teaching in Taiwan? 
Check out these posts about another field trip, my school, and culture shock

Check out Travel Tuesday and the Sunday Traveler for more travel stories!


  1. Replies
    1. It was exhausting!!!! That said, because the kids had fun, I did too.

  2. I have been checking the website, and I still have not found pictures of their new mascot....

  3. Ok, so I'm 29 going on middle school because I totally laughed uncontrollably at that name! What an awesome place for kids - I only hope here in Italy where I live those kinds of places exist for kids!

    1. I had a 10 minute chuckle when I was first told we were going camping at a place called Little Ding Dong. In fact, I am still chuckling about it now.

  4. Just wow! The love that you have for your job shows through your words and the amazing pictures you took! Looks like a wonderful weekend, glad I found your blog through Travel Tuesday :)

    1. Awe, thanks :) I really, really do love my job (most days, because you know, I don't think any person can love work every single day).

  5. What a kicker of a place for kids...oh and me too, I'd love to go. Thanks for joining us for SunadyTraveler.


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