Full name: Bryan Schiele
Program: No specific program, I just independently found a teaching job in Korea using recruiting agencies (I mentioned it in the blog)
Doing now: Teaching English in Korea
What I hope to be doing: Teaching English in Korea for the foreseeable future and then hopefully other countries around the world.
I’ve been teaching English in South Korea for a year and a half and it is safe to say at this point that I’ve stumbled headfirst into an international career that I didn’t even know existed as recently as two or three years ago. Fresh off of a European study abroad experience, I graduated from college with one blind goal in mind: to continue seeing the world.
I moved to Europe with no real intention other than finding a way to stay overseas long-term. After odd jobs here and there over the course of a year, I was still left wondering how it would be possible to have an overseas career that could sustain me financially and allow me the freedom to continue my passion of travel and cultural exploration. That’s about when a friend introduced me to the idea of teaching English abroad. So, I researched all of the places where I could teach English around the world (almost everywhere!) and what the qualifications were. After my research, Korea was the most enticing to me as I’d never been to Asia before, the culture seemed fascinating, and the benefits package was impressive. Even better, anyone from a native English-speaking country with a Bachelor’s Degree (in anything!) and no criminal history meets the basic qualifications to teach in Korea. A simple web search of “ESL Korea Recruiters” brought up countless recruiting agencies that could help me find a teaching job. A website called Dave’s ESL Cafe is also an excellent resource.
I was hired by a school, moved to Korea, and officially changed my name to “Bryan Teacher.” I now teach Kindergarten primarily as well as some early elementary students. The first thing I see every single morning when I get to school is tens of smiling students eager to greet me, so energetic and excited for their day at school. It’s truly an amazing way to begin any day and can make even the earliest mornings worth it. Sure, there are ups and downs. It’s not always easy managing a classroom full of 4 year olds, let alone students that have little or no English ability when they start a school year. However, the daily difficulties are made so worth it when I get to see their rapid progress and growth throughout the year. After six months or a year, many of my students can reach fully conversational, semi-fluent levels of English, which is an amazing accomplishment and gives me an immense amount of pride. Without an academic background in teaching, I can’t say that my teaching style is by the book, but I can definitely guarantee that my students will have fun in my classroom! That’s why when my school had International Day for the students to learn about other countries, I chose France so that I had an excuse to bring in as many baguettes and cheese as I could possibly find in Korea. Oh, and also (empty) bottles of wine, aka “grape juice”, just to make it even more authentic!
I’m incredibly fulfilled by my profession and feel very fortunate to do what I do. I get paid to play, sing, dance, color, draw, laugh, cook, read storybooks, make silly faces, tell stories, give high fives, make secret handshakes, and be a grown-up kid, all while living in an amazing country and part of the world that I can travel and explore. That’s why “Bryan Teacher” is absolutely here to stay in Korea for several more years and other countries around the world in the future. Teaching English abroad is my ticket to the world and it can be yours, too!