Getting to Know Mr. and Mrs. Rouse

Their Insights on Teaching and Midwestern Life


Mr. and Mrs. Rouse enjoy a trip to the Arches National Park in Utah with their families. (Courtesy: Mr. Rouse)

Alex Park and Jade Lee

With their interests in teaching abroad set in stone, Mr. and Mrs. Rouse hopped on a flight to Korea last summer. They represent the newest addition to the elementary staff. The couple brightens the atmosphere inside their classrooms and just about anywhere else you find them on campus. The Jets Flyover presents their insights on teaching and midwestern life.

What drew you to DIS?

Mr. Rouse: My mentor at my old school taught in Myanmar for two years, and he also taught in Columbia. He had open eyes to teaching, and for us, we were both fascinated by Asian culture. We were specifically engrossed in East Asian culture, which is the main reason behind my interest in teaching here.

What motivated the two of you to become teachers?

Mrs. Rouse: My math teacher and my dad are two of my biggest inspirations behind my career choice. When I went to the school where my dad taught, the kids really liked him, and I could tell they had a lot of respect for him. Seeing the relationship between my dad and his students bascially motivated me to teach.

Mr. Rouse: When I was in high school, I substituted for an elderly teacher. She taught second-grade and that was the first time I realized how big of a difference we can make in kids’ lives, which quickly became the turning point in my life.

What makes a good day at school? 

Mrs. Rouse: Just seeing the kids laugh and have fun. It makes teaching gratifying when students enjoy it and are willing to learn.

Mr. Rouse: I agree, definitely!

How are the DIS students?

Mrs. Rouse: I love them!

Mr. Rouse: They are all awesomeㅡ all they want to do is to try their best, and they are always eager to learn and still enjoy their time with friends.

Mrs. Rouse: We can joke around and have a great time with them which is, in my opinion, the best part.

Why did you two move to Korea?

Mr. Rouse: We moved here because we received the opportunity to become teachers; We thought it was an amazing opportunity to be here and lead children in a positive light.

Mrs. Rouse: I have a friend that said South Korea has always been on her bucket list to come and travel to, and I got interested fast. I started to look up everything about Korea, and we both came to the conclusion that it was very beautiful, and that we just wanted to be part of the culture.

What other places have you guys been to? Where was the best?

Mrs. Rouse: I have been out of the States a couple of times. I’ve been to Mexico, Dubai, and here. In all of the three countries, I had different experiences from each of them, but I really enjoy being here and being able to live and explore Korea so far!

Mr. Rouse: The only other place I went to besides Korea was Ireland because of College basketball, which was a very interesting experience. We had a week to stay there and it was cool to see the Irish countryside. But I would probably say I had the best experience here so far because of the rich culture and amazing views, especially within Jeju Island.

Mr. and Mrs. Rouse smile bright on their trip to Jeju Island. (Courtesy: Mr. Rouse)

When and where did you meet each other?

Mrs. Rouse: I originally went to college at Ashford in Iowa, but I soon heard that the school would close, so I had to transfer. I transferred down to St. Ambrose University which is in Davenport, Iowa. We happened to take the same night class for our Education course. Mr.Rouse was sitting in front of me and he would always turn around and laugh at me becauseㅡ if I’m being honestㅡ I would not pay attention well.

Could you tell me about your family?

Mr. Rouse: My parents and I are all from Iowa. we also have a little, 7-year-old white dog.

Mrs. Rouse: My family is from Wisconsin, and I have my parents and my sister over there. We are big sports fans and outdoor enthusiasts.

Finally, since Mrs. Rouse hails from Wisconsin and Mr. Rouse Iowa, here are some questions regarding local phrases from back home:

What is a Cheesehead?

Mrs. Rouse: Wisconsin is well known for cheese and other dairy products, so we always wear cheesehead hats because of that. Everyone goes to watch the Green Bay Packers and wear cheeseheads, that’s our big thing!

Mr. Rouse: There is a type of food called squeaky cheese: if you put it in your mouth and chew it, it literally makes a squeaky sound as if you’re wiping a window.

What is a bubbler?

Mrs. Rouse: It’s just a water fountain people drink out of. 

What’s the difference between frozen custard and ice cream?

Mrs. Rouse: Frozen custard is thicker and creamier, I miss it so much! 

Is it true that people ask about the weather all the time?

Mrs. Rouse: Yes, it’s always freezing outside and everybody always wears long sleeves. People laughed at me because I was the only one wearing short sleeves, and at the time, I was completely oblivious to the fact that in Iowa, the temperature went down to about -30 to -40 degrees Fahrenheit on average.

Have you ever harvested sweet corn?

Mr. Rouse: Never.

Mrs. Rouse: I grew up on a farm, and a couple of years ago my dad actually planted a whole field of sweet corn. When it was time to harvest, we went to the fields and took the sweet corn off the stem to chop it up and freeze it. This way, we could save some of the harvests for the rest of the year.

What is the best part of being a Midwesterner?

Mrs. Rouse: I like to enjoy the winter weather in Wisconsin. But I must say that the scenic view of autumn in the Midwest is very pretty. We also have a lot of watersports and outdoor activities that are pretty common.

Do you say dinner or supper?

Mr. Rouse: I say dinner.

Ms. Rouse: I say supper!

Do you say Pop or Soda?

Mr. Rouse: Pop.

Ms. Rouse: Pop.

Fortunately for Mr. and Mrs. Rouse, their dreams of teaching Elementary students abroad came true – despite the pandemic. Hopefully both teachers continue to add to their collective memory books as life in Korea moves on.