Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Podcast: R2-D2's Jam


Monday, January 16, 2023

Opening a New School — The Struggles, part 1

Opening a new school is a collection of struggles, but those struggles are intensified when you try to do it in the middle of the academic year. Since Covid-19 and the now well documented "quiet quitting" that is happening in education, finding qualified teachers was going to be difficult. However, finding qualified educators in the middle of the school year is a very difficult uphill climb. Somehow, Brandon (our Director) and I have managed to find three teachers and we have a few more interviews this week. 

The other struggle has been finding students. Daegu International School has a huge waiting list, but that

doesn't mean parents are willing to jump into a new school. Korean parents take education very seriously and the culture of Daegu is also a little more conservative than Seoul, Busan, or Incheon. The parents want to see proof. But how does that happen without students? It is a real pickle. We did have a parent information session last Saturday and around 15 parents showed up to listen to our explanations of why American STEM Prep was a great investment in their child's future, but now we have to see if any of parents give us a try. One of the public schools here in an IB school, so many parents think, "The public schools of Daegu are great, why pay?"

Then we have the added problem that the building we will be using is still in the process of being renovated and won't be finished until mid-February. So we can't really take parents and students on a tour of the school. Furthermore, due to now being open, our website is still under construction, so we don't really have an online presence to show off. The ASE website looks great, but the Daegu section isn't available yet.

So you are probably to yourself, "Why Tim? Why would you do this job?" It is a fair question, but I absolutely love the challenge of it. I like being at the opening of a new school and working with colleagues to figure out all of the little things that need to be done. Building the culture as you go.