After I graduated from ASU, I took a job teaching English in South Korea.
I really wasn’t prepared for how hard it was going to be to adjust to the culture. I had to learn about new holidays, as well as a new language, and new ways to shop and travel.
I had volunteered as a teacher at The Thomas J Papas School for the Homeless, so I had a little bit of experience in a classroom. I had also volunteered at Tumbleweeds shelter (for teens) so I had a little bit of experience in talking with kids about difficult subjects.
However, nothing could prepare me for the role of a teacher in South Korean society. They expect a person to teach morals and values in addition to the subject matter. In Korea, it takes a village to raise a child. If any child asks you a question about anything, you’re supposed to give them your perspective.
At first this was hard, but I did learn to give advice with my lessons and to keep a cheerful and productive classroom in the meantime.
Later, I was given the freedom to design my own curriculum and write my own textbooks. I was very proud of my Dungeons and Dragons class, because the kids really enjoyed it, and they learned a lot of vocabulary from it.
I completed three contracts in South Korea, and worked under four different school directors. I was able to manage all the transition and complication, and still find time to explore the country.
In the end, it taught me a lot about teaching. However, I learned a lot more than that. I learned about culture, language and International Business. I gained perspective and became a more well-rounded person. I am very proud of the time I spent there.