When Soseul Park is not teaching she is working to make sure her students succeed.
“I want them to be prepared for their futures,” Park said.
Park came to APSU from South Korea. She participated in a competition in hopes of getting an opportunity to teach in America.
“Austin Peay and CMCSS [Clarksville Montgomery County School System] were collaborating to develop a Korean program for the growing [local] Korean communities,” Park said. “They wanted one instructor that could develop a Korean program in two schools.”
Park was selected out of 140 candidates to develop the current Korean language programs at APSU and Rossview High School. She taught in Korea and even Mexico for a little while before coming to Clarksville.
“I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. In Korea, teaching is very important,” Park said.
Now, she spends her time teaching others and has inspired some of her students to follow in her footsteps.
“One student wants to study her masters in Korea and the other wants to teach in Korea,” Park said. “That’s why I am helping them not only learn Korean language but also Korean culture.”
To help her students prepare, she helps them with their portfolios, assignments and language skills.
She hopes that her students get opportunities and maybe even get hired in Korean companies.
Park’s demanding schedule limits her free time.
In the little time she does have, she gives it to helping out in the community. “I made this proposal called the Language Exchange Group. The Montgomery Public Library accepted it and now I am organizing it [there],” Park said.
Park along with other members of the group will host monthly meetings.
“As a newcomer, I feel more responsibility to bring the diversity to the community and implement the Korean program successfully,” Park said.
She hopes that she can bridgethe gap between the local community and Korean companies that are looking at her to see if she is growing the program.
Some of these companies even give her grants to help the students.
“I feel almost like an ambassador because people see me as a hard worker. That’s why I never stop working. Everyday is a learning process,” Park said.