Around the same time I started to like kimchi, I realized my passion for international teaching. To put things in context, my partner Sarah Cook and I taught English in South Korea from 2009-2010. The first time I tried kimchi, a Korean food staple, it tasted very strange and unfamiliar. However, after eating it everyday I became accustomed to it and now it tastes delicious! Being open to try new foods was an important part of becoming accustomed to life in a foreign country. During that year abroad, I developed my existing passion for teaching and learning about other cultures. A few months into the experience, both Sarah and I made a plan to return to Canada and become certified teachers with the eventual goal of teaching at an international school. Teaching internationally is an invaluable part of my professional development as a teacher dedicated to lifelong learning. My enthusiasm for this type of experiential learning helps me to be a great facilitator and role model for the students in my class. My hope is to work collaboratively with staff and students to make learning exciting and develop my skills as an educator in an international school.
My position as an English teacher in Korea was at a unique school called Seongnam English Town, which ran one-week English immersion camps throughout the school year. With new schools attending every week, I implemented good classroom management and quickly built rapport with new students. I used student input to create effective classroom agreements in accordance with the school rules and built rapport by learning students’ names quickly. I also played the guitar and sang songs with my students to help them practice their English in a fun and exciting way. The rewards from all this hard work came at the end of each week when my homeroom students said their goodbyes, quite often in tears because their week at English camp had been such a profound experience in their lives.