“Teacher! How are you! Come visit us soon.”
I could hear the giggles compressed into the letters of the KakaoTalk message. I remembered her right away; a bubbly, lively girl who always smiled and participated in class. I had taught her from 8th to 11th grade. Students like her made teaching in Korea a wonderful time.

Have you ever felt happy and sad at the same time? I smiled when I read her message and then felt sad at having to tell her that no, I’m not in Korea anymore. I felt even sadder when I did the math and realized she is now in that grueling final year of high school and had taken a few minutes to remember her former English teacher.

I replied by saying “I’m doing fine, but I’m in America now, so I can’t visit. Sorry.”

I imagine this situation happens often with teachers who have taught abroad. Has this happened to you, too?