Making an Impact Abroad with Charles McKinney
Charles McKinney, IV, is a Delawarean currently based in Iraq as a Global Educator who has spent most of his adult life teaching English in various countries. To date he has lived and/or worked in nine countries teaching English and spreading American culture through rewarding programs such as the Peace Corps.
Charles has also studied abroad for graduate school and has learned different languages in the countries where he has been blessed to serve. Charles thinks that more Americans should consider spending time overseas whether it is to volunteer, intern, study, or work as it will enrich their lives and enhance our nation as a whole.
Charles is not a native Delawarean, however, it is his 2nd home. He was born and raised in Greater Philly and Delaware County and moved with his parents to Delaware when he was 12 years old for better educational opportunities.
He started teaching English abroad in 2010, a year after completing college, first starting in East Asia, then moved to Eastern Europe and then Eastern Africa. Charles believes that he was created for this job and loves working with young people as well as learning different languages and integrating into different cultures which is definitely challenging, but also rewarding.
Charles has always enjoyed geography, he loved studying geography and looking at maps; he even had a map of the USA in his bedroom as a kid. He remembers looking at California and seeing how far away it was and thinking, “oh that’s where all the celebrities live and I would love to go there someday and possibly live there.
Having been a Writing Center assistant in college and helping his peers become better writers, as well as his enjoyment of reading to younger students while in elementary school prepared Charles for this journey.
After he graduated from college we entered the Great Recession; and with jobs being scarce he didn’t really know what he was going to do, and his dad said, “why don’t you just start substitute teaching?”
So that’s exactly what he did in the New Castle County school districts for a little over a year. The experience acclimated him to the classroom and the whole scene of teaching and working with young people of all ages and backgrounds, as well as their different learning styles was rewarding.
However, eventually he got bored and needed a challenge and that was then he received a random email with an offer to teach in Korea. It was from a recruiter who was looking for educators to teach English in Korea for a year, so he applied…and the rest is history!
Now 12 years later Charles is still teaching overseas and loving it. Charles does return to the states and is available for virtual travelogue presentations wherein he can speak at community centers, public libraries, places of worship and grade schools (to name a few) about my unique life and work as a globetrotting educator, academic and US cultural ambassador.
Charles loves to give back and does so at Concord Presbyterian Church, which awarded him his 4-year college scholarship and at his church, Victory Christian Center in Philly, where he talked to the youth the last time he was back in the states.
His hope is that by speaking and sharing his experiences with young people that it might inspire them to consider his journey and expand their horizons by getting out to see more of the world and then give back to others when they do.
When Charles was in Macedonia, he and a Peace Corp Colleague published an eBook entitled Macedonia English SC Challenge and it’s basically a collection of different stories related to a writing prompt given to the students, this was one of his proudest publishing moments.
Charles is currently seeking a feasible book publisher for his multiple manuscripts in the works! He doesn’t have an agent (yet) but is open to the possibility of being represented as such.
Take some time to listen to the entire podcast episode to learn more about Charles and then connect with him on Tik-Tok, YouTube and LinkedIn.