ESL Class, week 5: You’re gonna want this back.

With every week of ESL camp, my resources get downgraded.

When I came to Saipan to teach, I started out with a nice big classroom full of colorful posters and even some teaching materials. In my ignorance, I bemoaned the lack of a curriculum.

That was back when I still had construction paper and dry erase markers.

Sometime during week 3, I was moved to a classroom with twelve desks. I had fifteen students at that time. We crammed them in. I paid what seemed like an exorbitant amount for dry-erase markers and a few teaching materials.

Today, school started officially and I got a classroom that reminds me of a tiny airplane. It seats 10, five single-file desks in a line on each side. There’s a bookshelf that moonlights as a door; a row of actual built-in shelves rotates in the wall to open into an adjoining room. Narnia isn’t on the other side. I checked.

It’s far enough from the office that I have no internet connection, but the aircon works, so I’m not complaining.

One more week here. A few more days of teaching ESL classes, then another of those infinitely long days with several long flights and almost-as-long layovers to take me back to my home in Greenville, SC.

I’ll miss the ocean. The sunsets. Many of the people. I’m starting to realize that making friends an ocean away from home is much like asking for a less-than-happy ending.


  1. What a unique hallway/classroom! Resources are precious; however, it is not so easy to see that until they are no longer available-yes?

  2. You’ll see them later…there are some things that never make missionary prayer requests…now you know some of the ” behind the scene struggles ” they face. Bare one anothers burdens…now you know some that aren’t talked about so much…if you don’t see them here…you’ll see them later …but you can now pray more specifically for their needs.needs …

  3. Hey, I stumbled upon your Facebook/blog through Angela Zhang’s Facebook! I taught at Eucon from 2010 until this past June, and my time there included ESL Camp (three ESL Camps, I’m pretty sure). It definitely feels like you’re just being thrown into the unknown when it comes to ESL Camp because you have no curriculum… actually, you don’t really have anything, unless they gave you some PowerPoint presentations the other teachers made during the “winter.”
    I hope you finish your time there well! I miss Saipan a lot, and those kids (especially the dorm students) never really leave your thoughts or heart.

    1. Wow, that’s awesome! Such a small world. :) I know what you mean about the people around here getting stuck in your heart. It’s pretty special. Someone did share those PP’s, but most of the time my classes were so crowded there was nowhere to even set up a projector, haha. It’s been an adventure.

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