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Ouwehand looks to strengthen ATEK’s communication

The National Council of the Association of Teachers of English in Korea has appointed Rob Ouwehand as their new communications director.

Ouwehand, 30, is known among many of Korea’s expats as “Roboseyo,” a blogger who regularly writes about, among other things, community activities and interconnectivity among expats.

According to ATEK, his duties as communications director will include staying in contact with the media while developing and maintaining communication channels with expats.

The position of communications director had been vacant for the few months prior to his appointment, which Ouwehand said had put a strain on other ATEK officers.

“Once I’ve learned the ropes, look for more frequent communications, through press releases for big stories and updates on the website for smaller news, or to fill in details from news stories,” he said. “I hope to use social media like Facebook and Twitter to make it easier to get news about what ATEK is doing, and in the long term, I’d like to see the ATEK website become a vital source of practical advice for teachers in Korea. This will take collaboration with others, but it‘s definitely doable.”

The native Canadian has lived in Korea since 2003 and teaches at a university in Seoul. In addition to his blog, his writings have been published in Expat Living and Newsweek Korea, and he has been featured in the Canadian Embassy’s newsletter.

“The name recognition can‘t hurt: I’ve been writing about the importance of building stronger, better-connected communities on my blog for a long time now,” he said. “Joining and working with ATEK is a natural extension of that. If my readers know where I‘m coming from, that might mean they hear me out where they might not offer a stranger the same benefit of the doubt.”

In order for the name recognition to be meaningful, however, ATEK has to make positive and meaningful changes for Korea’s English teachers and their profession, he said.

“ATEK is helping people every day, and plans to continue making it easier for English teachers to get the help and advice they need, in the classroom and in life.

“I’m proud to be a part of that.”

The organization said that it has more than 1,000 members throughout Korea.