I've been an educator since 2003, and am a lifelong learner. I am currently the Principal of Teaching and Learning at Korea International School in South Korea. Aristotle articulates my pedagogy perfectly: "Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” As for my life philosophy, I believe Maya Angelou said it best: "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better." Thank you, Aristotle and Angelou, for giving me the perfect words to share the essence of me, and I borrow them here to let you get a glimpse of what drives my professional and personal life practices.
In the words of Steve Jobs, there is something beautiful about staying hungry, staying foolish, which I interpret as the yearning for self-improvement with the humility to learn from the past.
No one should ever stop learning. Everyone can learn, and it is our imperative as educators to lead by example so that we inspire our students and colleagues to be compassionate, to see the potential within themselves and each other. This is achieved through seeing ourselves as learners foremost before we call ourselves teachers or leaders and understanding how the two are intricately connected.
I believe in the power and therefore the need for careful, intentional reflection for individuals and organizations to grow. I believe that reflection allows us to truly learn what it means to be our best selves, and I strive to weave reflective practices into my pedagogy and leadership.
As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others. ~Bill Gates
Principal of Teaching and Learning at Korea International School 2018 - Current
Member of the senior leadership team overseeing teacher professional development and learning as well as the vertical and horizontal articulation of the curriculum from K to G12. Began the Teaching and Learning Coaches program; brought in Cognitive Coaching training for coaches, principals and teacher leaders.
Director of Curriculum at Gyeonggi Suwon International School 2016-2018
Oversaw vertical and horizontal articulation of all three PYP, MYP, DP IB Programmes and took charge of whole school professional development and learning. Improved transparency and collaboration within the school community and brought global visibility by creation of the school hashtag #KnightsROK. Took the school through a successful WASC special progress report and visit by addressing all six critical areas for follow-up.
IB CAS Coordinator 2014-2016
Responsible for Creativity, Activity and Service Learning component of the high school curriculum.
High School Humanities Curriculum Team Leader 2013-2016
Facilitated monthly Humanities Department Team meetings with CFG protocols and PLC models to share student work, lead discussions regarding student learning and align English and History curricula for grades 6-12.
Cognitive Coaching trained 2017 (Advanced Coaching Trained via Cognitive Consultancy 2021)
"The mission of Cognitive CoachingSM is to produce self-directed persons with the cognitive capacity for excellence both independently and as members of a community." It is "a research-based model that capitalizes upon and enhances teachers’ cognitive processes."
Adaptive Schools trained Feb/Apr. 2015
Trained "to develop the collective identity and capacity of organization members as collaborators and inquirers" with Robert Garmston.
WASC Accreditation Visiting Committee member (trained since 2014)
Student Council Advisor 2010-2016
Trained and empowered student leaders to establish a strong base for student government with refined constitution, voting procedures, leadership retreats, structured meetings and follow-up to execute successful events for the student body that builds a strong sense of community.
Senior Class Advisor 2010-2016
Responsible for organizing senior class related events such as Week Without Walls, IB Celebration of Learning, Senior bonding trip and graduation.
School Improvement Team (SIT) Facilitator 2013-14
Facilitated Literacy SIT’s meetings with CFG protocols and PLC models to lead discussion, make decisions, implement changes and make recommendations to the school’s Leadership Team regarding Literacy goals of the school.
School Reform Initiative Critical Friends Group (CFG) advance trained 2012
Trained in “Using CFG protocols to further develop PLCs” with Jason Robinson.
Model United Nations (MUN) Director 2004-2012
Trained and organized students to research current events, various countries' perspectives, write position papers and resolutions to worldly issues, speak in public, and compete/participate in prestigious MUN conferences held in places such as UPenn, UVA, THIMIUN Singapore, BEIMUN.
PLC Team Leader for Grade 10 AP History and Pre-AP English teachers 2007-2009
Trained with the DuFours in Atlanta, GA; facilitated weekly meetings with the entire Grade 10 Team to focus on student work sharings, curriculum alignment and planning.
International Director, Global Leadership Adventures; Tema, Ghana 2008
Oversaw four adult mentors and the National Director. Worked with 60 high school students from around the world by teaching a course in Leadership, overseeing three specific service projects, and leading them on excursions to various sites in Ghana.
Subtle Art of Giving a _ _ _ _
"How do we align the professional learning model with a vision of learning? While this can require very specific steps for different schools, there are some helpful universal considerations when planning for professional learning in your institution. Come discuss how to make small changes that have a large impact in shifting your school's culture into one where everyone learns and engages, together. Come find out how to fill in the missing blanks."
Building a Culture of Learning
"You’re invited for an exciting two-day summit designed for K–12 leaders to advance your vision for learning with technology. You’ll explore best practices for enriching student learning with technology and the leadership considerations for building innovation programs. You’ll also have the opportunity to network and share with leaders from other schools with technology-rich learning environments in Southeast Asia." -Apple Singapore Team
May the silks be with you
"[....] Have you wondered what force you have hidden inside you that just might let you [fly]? Let this silks journey be the metaphor to help you remember how to find that force within. Come fly with me and hopefully find the inspiration to build your community of learners that just might inspire innovation within your schools."
Co-Presented with Ceci Gomez-Galvez
Shared our experience of how physical exercise led to the unplanned empowerment of a community of women.
"[...] The holistic approach to our wellbeing led us to learn from one another what it means to be strong women leaders, both in body and mind. Let’s build an understanding for the power of movement. Let’s break the myth of competition."
Get your head out of your 'BUT'!
"[...] We have got to do as we say, get out there and do the work alongside our teachers. But we’re so busy… so what does that look like? [...] Come ready to be human, and see how that can make all the difference in your school culture. No more “BUT”s! #letshavefun #letsmodel #letsengage"
Power of Innovation and Servant Leadership
Invited to be a presenter at the inaugural GELS conference in Bangkok, Thailand by 21CL, representing GSIS as an innovative school in the Asia region in regard to how leadership can promote a positive change in school culture.
"Where's the fun?" Presented to focused audience of leaders and administrators, sharing how to engage and empower teachers.
Also served as Curriculum Administrators Cohort Leader.
Digital Tools for Literacy
Shared the use of KaHoot!, Blogging and Social Media to assess understanding, target instruction and enhance critical thinking of both teachers and students as learners working together.
Assessment Games: Cornucopia of Student Empowerment Tools
Shared various formative assessments that can be used to measure student learning, keeping differentiation, creative engagement and timely feedback in mind.
Making Global Connections
Invited by the eLearning Team to present on how the use of blogs in my IB classroom enhances connectivity for students, making learning reflective, genuine and continuous.
Read more on Create.
A Technological Approach to Global Literacy: Digitally Exploring World Englishes and Cultural Contexts in American and International Classrooms
Proposal selected “from more than 2,000 submitted for [2013's] convention” (NCTE).
Read more on NCTE.
The Fantastic Four: Targeting Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking Skills in the HS Classroom
Helping all students be astute and equal participants in critical discourse with the ProMISE protocol.
IB English A Year 1 and 2 Teacher. Designed the IB Course Syllabi for English A1 Literature Last Exam Year 2012, Literature First Exam Year 2013, and Language and Literature First Exam Year 2013.
AP English Language and Literature Teacher 2009-2010. Designed and successfully implemented the course with the 5-page syllabus approved by The College Board.
Other Subjects Taught: Forensics (Art of Public Speaking), Asian Literature, Modern Literature, Senior Seminar, TOK, and Grade 9 Semester Writing Elective.
Pre-AP English Teacher. Collaborated with the AP World History teacher through a Humanities Program designed to implement best teaching practices for student learning.
Other electives designed, implemented and taught: Forensics, Creative Writing, Film Study.
Jul 2007: Cape Town, South Africa
Teacher Mentor. Guided students through their travel from the U.S. to South Africa; collaborated with the director and other teacher mentors to lead small group discussions each night to debrief students’ service experiences in the townships; led various excursions to explore the country and its history.
Jul 2008: Tema, Ghana
International Director. Designed and taught a 4-week leadership course to 60 international students from around the world as they learned how to serve, lead, and become cognizant global citizens.
Creative Writing Instructor. Taught a group of gifted students aged 12-15 (students who scored in the 95th percentile on PSATs) in a summer enrichment program.
English teacher. American Literature Teacher (English 11); British Literature Teacher (English 12); Genre Studies Teacher (English 9) for the school’s Center for Performing Arts Magnet Program
Tutored students in SAT Verbal, College Essays, AP Language and Composition, Critical Reading and Writing
in Educational Policy and Leadership 2018
American College of Education, U.S.A., a program aligned with Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) Standards for effective leadership designed to create culturally aware and competent administrators.
Focus: maximizing school effectiveness, improving supervision, creating a school-wide vision and using data to inform decision making.
in Secondary Education English 2004
International School Principalship Certification 2013
Relevant Courses: Leadership and Group Dynamics; Curriculum Leadership in the International School; Instructional Supervision and Evaluation: The Teaching Process; Technology Leadership.
IB Certified in the following training:
English A Literature
English A Language and Literature
Theory of Knowledge (TOK)
MYP Authentic Assessments
PYP Concept-Based Learning
US Teaching Certification
Common Wealth of Virginia, U.S.A.
Korean: Native fluency
Mandarin: Intermediate oral fluency
Apple iWorks, OSX
Google+, Google Apps
Microsoft Office, Windows
Blogging: Please see the bottom of this page, or click on the sidebar's "Blog" tab. Thank you to Sam Sherratt for his gift of BubbleCatchers and the image below as I use them to capture my ideas before they burst.
© 2014 Liz Cho