Teacher Interview: Mr. Durey

Mr. Durey is GPA’s History and Psychology teacher. He came to GPA in 2016 fall semester, which means this is his first semester in GPA. His home country is The United States Of America, and he has been teaching in Korea for 9 years. He is known between students for having classes that require lots of effort and challenges.


Q:What do you teach?

A: I teach History and Psychology.

Q:Why did you come to GPA?

A: I came here Because GPA seemed like a school that would be both a challenging and a fun place to work.

Q:What do you want to do at GPA?

A: At GPA I will do my best to help students reach their academic goals and to test the limits of their abilities.

Q:What are your goals for this semester?

A: My first goal is to learn everyone’s names! I also hope to finish a book I’m reading, “Contemporary World History.” I plan to work on that during DEAR time.

What do you want to learn?

A: I’m always learning how to be a better teacher by reading articles and following other teachers on Twitter.

Q:What is your teaching philosophy?

A: I believe in a student-centered classroom where students collaborate and communicate. I want students to learn how to learn. I know what students need in order to succeed at university, and I set very high standards for my students.

Q:Any tips for students to increase their GPA?

A: Three simple words: Do your best. Always do your best because if you don’t, you’re wasting my time and you’re wasting your own time. You never know how good you can be until you push yourself, so do more than the teacher expects. If you take initiative and raise the bar every time, you’ll succeed.


Q:How long have you been in Korea?

A: I came to Korea in 2007. I’ve lived in Suwon and Seoul, and I have a home in Songdo with my family.

Q:Why did you come to Korea?

A: I had previously taught in Japan and China, and I was curious to see what Korea had to offer and explore the culture.

Q:What’s your favorite thing about Korea?

A: Definitely the weather. My favorite thing about Korea is the fall.

Q:What other countries have you lived in or traveled to?

A: I’ve worked in Japan, China, and of course the U.S. I’ve traveled to Mexico, Singapore, and Thailand.

Q:Do you speak Korean or any other languages?

A: Since I’ve been in Korea a while, I can understand quite a bit of what it being said, although I still can’t watch the news or a TV show and understand it all! I’m always trying to improve my Korean, but please don’t try to help me by speaking Korean in class.

Q:What do you think of the Korean education system?

A: I’ve worked in a Korean public high school, a private language school, Samsung, and GS. Based on my experience, I would say that the Korean education system is very rigorous, which has its positives and negatives.


Q:Where are you from?

A: My parents, brother, sister, and nephew live in Little Rock, Arkansas in the U.S. I’m originally from Arkansas.

Q:Where is the place you were born?

A: I was born in a small city called Lawton in the state of Oklahoma, U.S.

Q:How many family members do you have?

A: I’m married with two beautiful daughters, one is six years old and the other is two.

Q:What are your hobbies?

A: I enjoy reading, watching TV, and occasionally playing guitar.

Q: What is your favorite genre of music?

A: I like a bit of everything, but my favorites are Jason Mraz and old country like Johnny Cash.

Q: What’s your favorite food?

A: My favorite food is 불닭, but I don’t get to have it very often since my wife and two daughters don’t like spicy food!

Q: What’s your favorite place?

A: My favorite place is at home with my family.

Q:What’s your favorite TV show / movie?

A: I have so many, but I’d have to say my favorite TV shows are either Doctor Who, Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead.

Q: Who is your role model and how did the person inspire you?

A: My role model is my father. He is a school principal in the U.S. and I have learned so much from him both in terms of teaching and how to be a good father.

Q:What is your life motto?

A:“We find comfort among those who agree with us, and growth among those who don’t.”