This summer, I will be teaching English to middle school students in South Korea at Kyung Hwa school. At this point in my preparation, the overwhelming excitement and minor shock at receiving this opportunity has faded to reveal my nervousness. Though I am still incredibly excited to participate in this internship, I am also beginning to think through and understand the responsibilities that I will have, as well as what I expect.
As a junior Undergraduate at the University of Kansas, I have begun to transform in my perception of myself both as a professional and a student. Through studying Secondary English Education, my role as a student has often meshed with my future as a teacher. I have always considered myself to be a leader, but the more time I spend learning about my future profession, the more I have realized that being a teacher goes beyond leadership abilities. Being a teacher means having the ability to include and engage those around you, which can often be a difficult task. Furthermore, teachers are infamous for their longing to help every student succeed, and that means that each student has a high importance. However, it is also important that I am flexible as a teacher, and prepared to adapt to any situation. Every student learns differently, and that will still be true in South Korea.
As a future teacher, the fact that I will be spending 6 weeks in a classroom is very endearing, and will be a great way for me to develop professionally. Through planning lessons, and working with the students, I will get a hands on experience that will help me evolve in my understanding of what it means to be an effective teacher. When planning my lessons, I will need to be aware of the current skills and knowledge that my students have of the material. Since there will be a language barrier between me and my students (though hopefully not to big of a barrier), I hope to communicate the material through fun and engaging activities, that lead my students to be excited about their learning.
Beyond my time spent in the classroom, I will be exposed to an entirely new culture and country. My time spent exploring and learning Korean customs, will be both challenging and endearing. I hope to transform in my views of the world, through my time spent living outside of my comfort zone. Though there may be challenges as I acquaint myself with the customs of a new society, and the social rules that accompany the Korean culture, I expect that each challenge will lead to an even greater success.