The most amazing ice cream lesson: Confessions of a TEFL teacher

My husband thinks I’m crazy. He might be right.

Picture this: a tiny, pudgy, slightly red teacher arrives at school in the pouring rain, carrying 4 kilograms of ice and two litres of milk. Inside her massive backpack she’s got Ziplock bags in two different sizes, a kilogram of sugar, 2 kilograms of salt and vanilla essence (the expensive kind).

I am that teacher.

Last week, I decided enough is enough. For anyone who’s never been to Daegu, it gets hot. It might not reach the 40 plus degrees Celsius of Oudtshoorn, the town in South Africa where I went to boarding school, but the humidity alone is enough to send you racing indoors. Or to the ice cream store.

So I decided, why not make the ice cream? How hard can it be?

My Epik e-Press colleague Amanda Goglin has already introduced you to the concept of after-school classes, and my two schools follow more or less the same procedure as hers.

I didn’t do after school classes the first time I taught in Korea, it was a new challenge for me and for a while I experienced quite the identity crisis. What kind of teacher am I? I tend to be more crafty and creative, I like story time or activities where the students do stuff, make stuff, produce their own knowledge. But it didn’t work in all my classes, and the feedback I got at times was that students are bored and we should rather play bomb games. I hate bomb games (but I’ll leave it at that).

So this ice cream lesson was really me going back to my roots – a craft that’s interesting and fun, as well as educational. I followed the recipe in this video tutorial, and it worked very well.

Check it out for future reference:

I started off the lesson with an ice cream song, and elicited their favourite flavours. The students loved talking about food, and I could see them getting very hungry. Then we did an ice cream tongue twister to help them wrap their vocal chords around English sounds. Last, we learned the names of the ingredients and then we made the ice cream! It tested their listening skills and the result was pure, vanilla goodness. My co-teachers at both my schools were awesome, such sports, despite the fact that it got quite messy and noisy. We were making English!

As an aside, I do my after-school classes mostly in English, the amount of Korean used is very minimum. In the beginning it was tough but nowadays the kids are used to me and they know that we can communicate – their English doesn’t have to be perfect. This way, my listening skills have improved too!

Here are some photographs from the magnificent event:

This post and others like it by other EPIK e-Press members can be found on the EPIK e-Press website.


One thought on “The most amazing ice cream lesson: Confessions of a TEFL teacher

  1. Pingback: 5 back-to-school tips for the new semester | Reviews on a Train

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