After graduating from the College of William and Mary with a degree in East Asian Studies, I accepted a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship grant based in South Korea. I packed my bags with every intention of only spending one year in Korea, after which I would pick up and move to a new country in a new corner of Asia.
That plan didn’t last long.
Instead, I fell in love with my job at Mokpo Jeongmyeong Girls’ Middle School. The students were a lovable, rascally bunch. We tumbled over tangled tongue twisters; tore through the halls on madcap scavenger hunts; tossed frisbees over lunch breaks and after classes; and whaled on each other with foam swords and battle axes. (We also practiced English.)
Eventually, one year turned into three. I finished my two-year Fulbright grant and spent one last year teaching English, cooking, and yoga at Aran Kindergarten––to a new bunch of lovable rascals––in Seoul. I left Korea more self-reliant, more adaptable, and even more invested in lifelong education. I intend to put these skills to good use.
The College of William and Mary - Bachelors, Global Studies/East Asian Studies
GRE Verbal: 168
What is your teaching philosophy?
Students retain information best when they discover the answers themselves. My goal is to further their journey to discovery.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In the beginning, I work to get to know my students' interests. I ask about their academic goals, their hobbies, and their aspirations. In this way, I can better tailor lessons to suit their needs.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I do not give out answers; rather, I encourage and guide students so that they may find their own solutions.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Students are most often receptive to learning when the lesson takes place in a positive, relaxed, and fun environment. If a student's motivation is flagging, we will take a quick breather. Perhaps we'll jump up and down for ten seconds. Perhaps we'll stretch and talk about our hobbies. Maybe we'll even do a little bit of yoga. After we have re-energized ourselves, we can get back to the task at hand with clearer minds.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I remain upbeat, and I present the material in a different manner. If a student still has difficulty and is reluctant to continue, we can go back and review previous, relevant concepts. Once the student renews their confidence, we can again work on the challenging skill or concept.