Posted on 03 May 2010.
On Monday I sent out a press release, and posted on ATEK’s website, that I’ve applied for, and been appointed, ATEK’s National Communications Officer. (link to press release). This is an interesting opportunity for me, and I’m pretty excited about the possibilities right now. Last time I wrote about ATEK (Association for Teachers of English in Korea), I wrote that:
The area where ATEK is failing so far is in communication, in my opinion. There isn’t enough knowledge in the general population about what they’re on about, about the kinds of connections that are being formed, and the reasons why things seem to be going slowly. Meeting notes ought to be published somewhere on their websites, and regular national council meetings should be announced, with their agenda and notes published, at least in some form that doesn’t impinge on the privacy or trust of the people involved in certain ATEK actions.
I still think that. From the conversations I’ve had (and I’m still learning the ropes right now. Patience, please!) ATEK has a lot of good people, and they’re doing a lot of good things, and I’m looking forward to being a part of letting the world, or at least those who care, know what ATEK’s about, what they’re doing, what they want to do, and how people can get involved. Hopefully soon, people will no longer be able to say that ATEK’s main failing is a failure to communicate… If I do my job well enough, people will know enough about ATEK that they’ll be able to criticize finer points of its organization or bylaws or goals, and we’ll be able to learn a lot from those public discussions, if they’re productive.
So stay tuned: I’m getting my feet under me right now, but I’ve been sharing a lot of interesting ideas with a bunch of people. (You can read some of them here, from Jason, who wrote a nice post about my appointment.)
But I’d like to be clear to my readers that I do not intend to use Roboseyo as ATEK’s mouthpiece blog, nor any of the other blogs I’m involved with. That would be unfair to my readers at Roboseyo, who come here for Roboseyo, not for ATEK, and it would be unfair to other bloggers and news sources who write about ATEK, to be scooping them any time with inside information. It would also be unfair to whomever comes after me as National Communications Officer if I use the Roboseyo media empire (tee hee) for ATEK publicity, rather than trying to set up ATEK-specific communication mechanisms that are separate from Roboseyo, so that I can cleanly pass them on for the next person to use effectively, when my term expires (the bylaws give a maximum term). Now, if I go to an ATEK event that rocks, I might post photos and talk about it, because that’s something that happened in my life, and it rocked. If ATEK is doing an event that I think is cool, you might hear about it at the 2S2 Blog or here, but I’ll continue posting non-ATEK events that I like, and photos of non-ATEK stuff as well, so long as it’s awesome (because that’s the only real standard here at Roboseyo: awesomiousity). This will be very remain my personal blog, with my personal opinions. Because of my new official position, I’ll actually be talking about ATEK less here (for example, in posts like this), because now that I’m in an official capacity, I should be writing about it along official channels.
So why, Roboseyo, are you taking on such a big task? (And dear readers, it IS a big task… with a sharp learning curve. I’d never written a press release before until Monday, and I made some mistakes that will be corrected in the next one.) Well, here’s why: I’m getting married, readers. You know that. To a wonderful Korean lady, no less, whose job prospects are mostly limited to Korea because of the kinds of re-training she’d have to undergo to do her job in other countries (she’s pretty specialized). I’m probably going to be living in Korea for most of my adult life, if things go the way they have been. The wind blows, and the wheel turns, but for the foreseeable future, Korea’s it. For a lot of that future, I may well be involved in education, and if that’s the case, then helping out an organization whose goal is to improve the lives of English teachers seems kind of logical. At this point, I think ATEK is the organization I can get involved with, that has the best chance of affecting tangible improvements in the quality of life of English teachers in Korea. I have a big stake in Korea, so I’m doing a favor for my future self, folks. Also, when I have a bad Korea day (and everybody has them), thinking that I’m doing something meaningful with my free time makes me feel better about the prospect of living in Korea for a long long time. It won’t always be easy: The time management challenge alone will be a biggie, and I have a wedding coming up, but I think I can do a good job of it, and I’m excited to be part of an organization with a lot of cool people who are passionate about making life better for English teachers. Plus, I get business cards!
If you want to talk to me about personal or blog stuff, write me at the address on the right: roboseyo at gmail. If you want to write me about ATEK stuff, I’m going to try to keep them separate, so please send it to media[@]atek[.]or[.]kr If you have some advice, some suggestions, or if you want to help me out as a volunteer, because you like me so much, or just because you’re awesome, some of the ideas I’ve been tossing around for improving communications will take some help, so drop me a line.
Have a great day, readers.