From London to Seoul
I remember sitting on the airplane from London to Seoul and thinking to myself “what the hell have you done?!” All of my worldly belongings were packed into two suitcases, and I had left everything I knew back in England.
I had spent the months up until my departure reading any account I could get my hands on
about people’s experiences teaching in Korea, and I had come across some real horror
stories. Accounts of unhappy work environments, horrible abusive management, and unpaid
wages, so to say I was nervous was a huge understatement.
But I got a good gut feeling when I came across the Twinkle job listing, so I went with it and
applied. After exchanging emails and talking to Andrew on the phone for an interview (which
just turned into us talking about history for 20 minutes). I took the job and made the big
plunge. The transition to living on the other side of the world was not always easy, and there
have been bumps in the road, but I can honestly say I am so glad I took the chance.
I have now been working at Twinkle for well over a year now, both in person class and online
(thanks COVID-19) and working here has been such a good experience for me. It has taught
me a lot, probably more than I have taught the kids myself.
The curriculum is not simple and easy, it’s not something you can just coast though. You do
definitely need to have a passion for teaching and learning if you want to do well here, a
willingness to work hard, and a want to inspire. And of course you have pass the vibe check.
But if you have all that, then you’ll be pretty much set here, and the rewards far outweigh any
work you have to do.
Seeing a kid who has been struggling with a topic have that sudden lightbulb moment, or
another child who’s writing has been improving on and on throughout the year is so
rewarding. Being able to see and understand their perspectives and ideas about things is
truly amazing (I had a long discussion with a 5th grade class last week about if the ends
justify the means).
I am truly astonished sometimes about the amount of information my kids are able to retain
in their tiny heads. And how much they actually want to learn (I vividly remember having
frequent battles of will with my mother to get me to learn a single part of my homework).
They’re a really good bunch, and I wouldn’t say that if I didn’t honestly mean it.
Another thing that has been great has been the environment. I have made real friends within
Twinkle, people who I know will stay in life for a long time. Now this may be incredibly
cheesy, but there is a real sense of togetherness and community in Twinkle, and I have
never been afraid of speaking my mind or asking for help. I feel supported and heard by the
upper management, and have been able to continue my professional development working
Turns out that plane ride a year ago was probably one of the best decisions of my life.
- Julia Teacher