Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Accidental Teacher?

Teaching is what I do. Teaching is what I do to earn a living for myself and my family. I am a teacher at a school five days a week and a teacher at home the other two. I suppose I am a teacher at home everyday. Everyday I'm attempting to teach my son how to speak, how to have fun, how to walk and how to not throw and break everything he can get his hands on.

As I look back on my adult life, a younger Kevin could have never imagined himself becoming a teacher. I remember, while in my early twenties, my older brother graduating from an Education program and getting his first job as a teacher. I remember his tales of the classroom and I thought to myself, "I could never do what he does." Fast forward many years and here I am. A professional teacher with a teaching degree and a license. I never would have thought it.

What happened?

How did I become something I thought I could never do?

I suppose I knew fairly quickly that I liked teaching. My first class of young learners was in a city called Ilsan in South Korea. I was their language teacher and it was early 2002. After the initial few months of shock wore off (having a room full of six year olds run me ragged), I felt like this was a fun job. After all, I had been a performer (singer, actor, general clown) in years past and in a way, I was taking a stage everyday when I walked into that classroom. Everyday I was standing in front of a small audience and having to captivate and excite them. I had to hold their attention and entertain them. More importantly, I had to teach them something of value.

After some years of that I knew that teaching was the profession for me. I saved my money, applied to Education programs in Canada and eventually received my teaching credentials.

Now I am here in Japan doing what I think I do best. I'm teaching a group of intelligent and funny little people (I don't mean dwarves) everyday. There are of course ups and downs. Sometimes the downs can be really low and often the ups are very high.

As look at the future, I sometimes get more than a little down though. I am a Canadian who misses home. I want to take my skills and use them in classrooms in Canada. Sadly though, there seem to be too many people deciding to become teachers every year. I know that I will be able to find a classroom somewhere, but it probably won't be the place I want to go. Then again, maybe it will be! I think the next few years will lead me and my family down some very interesting and exciting paths for sure.

For the time being though, I am here, in Japan doing the think I know I am meant to do. I'm teaching.

Here are a couple of pictures from 2005 when I was teaching adult students at a school in downtown Seoul South Korea. I only taught adult learners for one year, but it was an enjoyable experience.

In the theme of teaching, the other day, while commuting home from school I thought about making a video tutorial. What could I make one about? The answer was clear. I make lots of videos on You Tube about Asian food. Why not make one about how to eat the stuff? Here is my first ever video tutorial, "How to use chopsticks."

You can find me on TWITTER: @jlandkev

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