“When you live everyday interacting and participating in other cultures, it builds your empathy, understanding, and appreciation for people who, on the surface, appear very different from you,” said King. “It prepared me for my current role because I try to see every situation and interaction with students, colleagues, and community from that person’s lens.”
King began his career in advertising, but soon realized he wanted to go in a different direction. Looking for a dramatic shift, he jumped at an opportunity to teach in South Korea. “My parents and friends thought I was crazy, but I knew it was the right decision the moment I landed,” said King. “It was the first time in my life I felt really excited about where I was and what I was doing.”
He taught English for three years in South Korea, which is where he met his wife. King spent the next several years growing his family and teaching in several different countries including China, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Now teaching at LEAD Neely’s Bend, King is using his experiences to develop strong relationships with his students so he can help them accomplish their goals.
“My favorite part of the job is when I get opportunities to connect with who students are and what they are passionate about,” said King. “It is the chance to hear them share about what motivates them and what they’re excited about that brings me great joy. In those moments, I feel like I am making a difference as a positive adult role model in their lives.”
King admits moving back to the United States has been an adjustment, but credits support from his colleagues with making the transition easier. “I am so grateful for my fellow teachers along with the instructional managers and leaders at the school,” said King. “I really appreciate the positive feedback and solutions-oriented approach at LEAD. It really has made me feel part of a family as we pursue a common goal.”
King’s feeling of camaraderie with his coworkers is mutual. “Brian is a team player and always approaches everything he does with a smile and a positive attitude,” said Dominique Torres, principal at LEAD Neely’s Bend. “He always wants what is best for kids, families and our community.”
As for his students, King’s goal is to help them see the value in what they are learning. “I hope this shapes and unlocks their own dreams and they feel equipped and excited to pursue them with excitement. I hope that they feel empowered to turn their dreams into reality.”
We are proud to have LEADers like Brian King serving our students every day. If you’d like to nominate a LEAD staff member for a spotlight, please complete the nomination form here.