English Teachers of South Korea: Jim English

English Teachers of South Korea: Jim English

Name: Jim English
Hometown: Canada
Currently Living: Seoul
Job: University English Professor

What are you doing right now?
Taking a break from work after 15 years of teaching at 2 universities in Seoul

And what’s your typical day?
When I was teaching, I’d get up at around 9:30am, prepare a few things, and teach 2 classes in the afternoon (about 3 hours). Then in the evening, I’d mark essays, and read a lot to broaden my own knowledge.

Where are you from?
Canada

Why did you decide to move here?
I wanted to travel and live in another country for a year, pretty much anywhere. A recruiter for a Korean school posted on my university message board, and I realized teaching abroad could be a good chance to discover a new culture. 3 weeks later, I was in Seoul. I liked it a lot, so I stayed one more year, one more year, etc.

Why do you teach?
My major was literature and education, so teaching is the most natural form of work for someone interested in reading, writing, ideas, etc.

If you weren’t teaching, what would you be doing?
Something related to languages, writing, etc.

What separates the good teachers from the bad?
Teaching involves the constant cultivation of one’s mind. A good teacher must be a good thinker, curious and rigorous.

What were the hardest life lessons you had to learn while here?
That many ‘educated’ people worship subjectivism and tolerance, but are absolutely intolerant of the people who don’t agree with them.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about teaching abroad or living abroad?
Choose your country carefully, and then don’t think too much and appreciate what the country offers one day at a time while focusing on what you can do to best serve it.

Do you have any passions or hobbies that you pursue abroad?
The same ones as before: literature/philosophy, piano, gym, traveling, etc.

What would you be doing if you were still in your home country?
Maybe some tutoring, and enjoying my hobbies
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