It all started with a move. A move that would take me 6,000 miles away from family, friends or any sense of normalcy that I was accustom to. I was done with the rat race of working for corporate America. It was time for me to do something different. Time for me to live outside my comfort zone and live a more adventurous lifestyle. In 2013 I moved from my home of Minneapolis, Minnesota to Daegu, South Korea to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) to Korean elementary school students.
Living in a foreign land – where even my job was a foreign concept – was the ultimate crash course in pedagogy. In the 2 years I taught at Waryong Elementary I increased the overall attendance of our English camps by continually creating lessons that sparked students’ curiosity and challenged their English proficiency. I inspired advanced English learners to explore their creativity in writing and acting in weekly school broadcasts. I also started up an extracurricular club for students with an advanced comprehension of English with my co-teacher, Moon-Sook. In this club, we exposed students to different English speaking cultures and conducted projects to challenge their understanding of the English language. We did play productions, poetry projects, and studied different genres of music with a focus on lyrical analysis. I succeeded in creating an atmosphere where students could freely express themselves and enjoy learning English in a non-conventional way.