Am I really an adult already? It often doesn’t feel like it, but then I look at my kindergarteners, standing no taller than my waist; or those high schoolers in that awkward, teenage, laugh at everything, with a voice too deep for my body phase, and I realize that I have in fact become a dreaded adult!
Since my transition into the real world and getting a “real” job I have had my share of ups and downs. I’ve worked in some great schools with great teachers and some pretty awful schools too. I’ve taught the best and brightest and some of the most needy students you can imagine. Many of my colleagues have been some of the most enthusiastic, amazing educators ever! That doesn’t mean I haven’t worked with my share of lazy dinosaurs who effectively retired decades ago yet still collect a paycheck. Even with all those pitfalls ask any teacher what the best part of their job is and they say “my kids are great! But I just don’t know what to do with these parents.”
We get into this profession for one reason. To get rich! Okay, maybe your college adviser lied to you about the salary. We teach for the children and the generations to come. No matter the students I’ve worked with or how difficult their parents could be, when your students walk into your classroom you get a little excited. Then a little scared that all your prep wasn’t enough and they still won’t get it. You might even rearrange your plan quickly but rest assured you are excited to impart knowledge on these eager youngsters. By the end of the lesson you’ve flip flopped a dozen times and moved that test back a week but still managed to improve the lives of each and every one of those little turkeys.
I’ve been doing this for a short while and have taught in a handful of different schools, teaching regular and special ed. I’ve coached, taught the arts and loved nearly every moment of it but one thing has been nagging me. I became a teacher for many reasons and one of those was because it was a “recession proof” job I could do “anywhere.” Teachers are needed worldwide and I intended to be one of those global educators.
I recently took a break from full-time teaching and gave it a go as a professional coach. I loved what I was doing but something was missing. When it came time to look at where I would teach in the fall I did my usual resume distribution and continued a three year trend of sending my application abroad to see what bites I got. This year with my trendy new resume and international Curriculum Vitae (CV) I got just the hits I was looking for. I was bombarded by emails from international recruiters so I decided to respond to those with the best English (gotta draw the line somewhere). They quickly arranged interviews at prominent schools and almost instantly, I had contracts sitting in my inbox.
That was the easy part… Now I had to decide if I was actually going through with it and which contract to sign? Where did I want to live for the next year, maybe more? It was a scary decision and I took advice from every source; discussing with my family, friends, childhood role models and the occasional drunken stranger. I finally took the plunge and decided on a school in Mokdong-gu, Seoul, South Korea!
If there’s one thing I’ve learned thus far it is not to take myself too seriously. Although I may in fact be an adult and know how to buckle down when I need to, I can’t forget to take the time to live life like a kid! Just like Peter Pan said, “to live will be an awfully great adventure!”