Tuesday, June 2, 2015

To stay or not to stay...that is the question! ;)

We’ve had a wonderful May in Korea and have been enjoying the spring weather!  There is so much to blog about, but before we post about our adventures, we have a big question to answer…..Are we staying in Korea or Moving home?
2014--? This picture feels like it was taken years ago, has it only been 10 months?!
We truly love living in Korea! From day 1 we have really felt like this was a second “home” for us and we have thrived in this interesting and dynamic environment. We never thought we would feel so comfortable in another culture, especially one so different than ours, but honestly, our time here has been wonderful. That’s not to say we haven’t had our ups and downs. Adaptation is necessary, and the struggle was real at times! Learning to cope with new ways of thinking and doing things had its frustrations! But instead of staying in a negative mindset, we vented to each other, or our close friends, and we turned to prayer! Having a positive mindset is crucial and really made our time here more enjoyable!

Honestly, the joys of living and working here outweighed the negative moments by a tenfold! Getting to teach these students and see them grow was amazing. Living in our own little apartment as a newly married couple without the stress of money was such a blessing! And getting to meet new friends, English speakers or not, from around the world has been eye opening! We have also been given the opportunity to travel, something we could never have done if we had never come here!

But, with all good things, they must come to and end at some point. After lots of thinking, praying, and making of pro’s and con’s lists, we finally came to a decision. We’re moving HOME!

And here’s why!

  1. Teaching in Korea is an amazing experience and both Tyler and I have learned so much! However, we feel we have gotten to a "plateau" of growing as teachers here. Not being able to truly communicate with our students is not just challenging, but it takes out some of the true “deeper teaching” that we desire to do. We know we are highly beneficial to students learning of English and confidence in their abilities, and we love that! But we aspire to go deeper in our teaching as well!
  2. We would like to start our Master’s Degrees. After getting your initial teaching license in Oregon, you have 6 years to complete a Master’s degree to keep your certification. Obviously, we have plenty of time still to complete it, but we would like to pursue our Master’s sooner than later. After teaching here for a year, we are also excited to continue our education and gain more understanding of our craft.
  3. We are really excited to teach at home again. We loved our student teaching experiences and honestly, we’re both itching to teach in our own classrooms. With new experiences behind our belts, we’re excited to take what we’ve learned into our future classrooms. We’ve grown a lot while here and can’t wait to see how that impacts us when we come back!

We miss our family and friends so much, however, we tried to leave our emotions out of our decision as much as possible. We wanted to make the best decision for ourselves and knew that if our only reason to come home was because we were homesick, than we might be missing out on great opportunities here! Being that all of these reasons had to do with our career, we knew that this decision was best for us. It is time to move on to our next chapter in our book!

We can’t say this decision hasn’t come with some big “fears for our future" as well as many "What if?" questions related to if we would have chosen to stay here! However, we know God has a plan for us! Though this transition out of Korea is going to be very bittersweet, just as it was coming here, we hope we can enjoy the last few months to the fullest!

So what's next? 
We can’t wait to see our family and friends again this coming September! We'll plan to start our Masters soon after that while also substituting as much as we can!

To our family and friends, we love you all and thank you for your support and encouragement while we have been here! <3

Here's to more adventures!

~Val and Ty

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