I finished my year-long contract Monday.
How does it feel? I don’t know. I have no issue leaving my job. I didn’t really like it. It didn’t give me a sense of accomplishment and I felt like I was nothing more than a symbol of “globalization” for my school (and the Korean government). But I’ll miss my kids. I’ll miss the ones that told me not to leave. The ones that gave me a note telling me they love me (and wrote “lie” in the back). I’ll miss the ones that never spoke to me in class but stared at me so hard (and smiled shyly when I returned their gaze). I’ll miss the ones that always shook me hand. The ones that couldn’t speak English but always spoke to me (in Korea, so I’m not sure what they said). And the ones that showed up late for class, but I let it slip because I know they were good students. (I’ll miss the one girl who gave me a note and a bookmark. In the note explaining she wants me to read many books so I can use her bookmark and think of her often. I wanted to cry at the beauty of her words)(Still do)
It’s weird. I hope they remember me. I hope I don’t fade away and get replaced by a vocabulary list. I hope I made a positive impact on their lives. I hope when they grow up, they can look at a map and think “that’s where my middle school teacher was from. I should go check it out.”. I hope they grow up to be smart and successful. Happy. Thinking about them, I want to cry at their first heartbreaks. When they’ll be in relationships with abusive partners. When they’ll be so scared of the future. Laugh and cheer when they’ll achieve their goals. When they’ll impress themselves with skills they didn’t even know they had. Dreams.
But I’ll be home (where ever that may be), and I’ll think of them from time to time. And I’ll wonder what they’d doing. And I hope no tear comes to my eye, only a smile.