I first went to South Korea August of 2006. At the time, I was a sports photographer based in Manchester, New Hampshire and decided to visit a friend of mine during my two week vacation. While in Korea, I met someone who was teaching English at the local middle school. She told me about her job and showed me what I needed to do to find a job teaching English as a Second Language in Korea. The last day of my vacation, I wrote a resume and emailed it to an agency placing foreigners in public school systems. An hour later the agency called me and said they had accepted my resume, and they had two opening positions that fit my requirements. Without thinking twice, I said, “Sure, I'd love to take the elementary school job!”
A few things I learned from a professor in college was to set goals, do your research, and work harder when you fail. When I was studying as an undergrad, I always wanted to live in another country and teach English. I wanted to do this because I have a passion for helping people and teaching. I always thought teaching ESL would be my ticket to travel the world and do the photography I love to do. I achieved this dream the day I didn't really think things over and decided to live on the other side of the world.
My life turned into finding cheap flights, hiking the Great Wall of China, and riding on the back of a motorcycle to reach the border of Cambodia. I found myself getting lost for 17 hours and watching the sun rise in a place that was, for me, without a name. Adventure was also waiting for me in a classroom, teaching 40 third grade Korean students how to read.
My new normal became coming home to my small apartment in South Korea where little children chased me in the street, yelling, “Scott Teacher, Scott Teacher!” only to say, “Hello--” and then paused because they realized they didn't know what else to say.
I grew up in Westport, Massachusetts and graduated from Westport High School in 1999. I graduated from Chester College of New England in 2003 with a Bachelors of Photography and Media Arts. After graduating, I worked for Actionphotos.com photographing youth and minor league sports for almost four years. Teaching ESL has given me the opportunity to do the two passions in my life - to teach children and to travel the world photographing wherever I may go.
alCopyright 2016. Scott Baker. All Rights Reserved.