Staff Member Spotlight: Mark Royle

Title
Operations Manager

Photos

Mark has been with Footprints since early 2015 and has seen significant change in the world of international teaching over this period of time. He has helped teachers secure great positions in 17 countries to date.

I vividly remember when I stepped off the plane in Brazil for the first time. Brazil is a country that has always captivated me. I had been reading about the country's cities and history, and learning the language for years. Of course, books, documentaries, and language apps are barely the tip of the iceberg. Speaking Portuguese to a Brazilian in Brazil for the first time, and having him understand me, was one of the greatest thrills of my life.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

There is so much more to teaching abroad than simply applying for an interesting job and booking a flight. In order to obtain an entry visa and legal work permit to teach abroad, each country has its own regulations and policies, and it has become a fascination of mine to understand these processes around the world. In fact, I have recently completed the coursework toward obtaining my Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultancy license. This means that before the end of 2019, I will be licensed to advise people seeking to immigrate to Canada.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

How about from a non-returning teacher?

I assisted a teacher with securing a job in Korea in 2015. He decided to stay for second year as he was learning the language and wanted to become fluent. As his Korean kept improving, he stumbled into a role as an extra for a Korean drama. This lead to a couple of small speaking roles, which eventually lead to him staying in Korea as a regular TV personality. He still there on TV, as far as I know.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

We work with a very small public school district located along the west coast of Alaska in a very remote area of the state accessible only by air. While the focus of Footprints since day one has been clearly set on helping teachers obtain great international teaching jobs, there is something that I find incredibly interesting about a domestic opportunity that provides much of the draw of traveling abroad. This program offers licensed teachers from the United States an opportunity to earn a great salary, while experiencing the local culture of rural Alaska. I am not a licensed teacher, nor am I American, but if I could take part in this program, I wouldn't think twice.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

Footprints is always adapting and evolving. Recent challenges have arisen in Asia where a BIG shift has been taking place, specifically the emergence of China as a destination for teachers. A major point of pride for Footprints in addressing the concerns stemming from China's incredible demand for native English speaking teachers is that we are very particular with who we partner with. Prospective teachers can be assured that Footprints is not trying to just fill as many jobs as possible with any old school in China. We are building relationships with a select number of reputable organizations that we trust.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

Footprints has adapted to many trends and changes over the years. As programs are introduced, grow, change direction, and in many cases, eventually end, we have done our best to stay on top of everything. We always try to make sure that we have excellent opportunities to offer our adventurous teachers.