When I quit my job and moved to Asia I was trying to figure out whether teaching–the only thing I have ever known I wanted to do–would still rank once I opened myself up to other options. Would the long hours, the never ending paperwork and all of the rules and red tape that drove me away in the first place still seem all that bad once I had escaped it? It has been three months since I left the classroom and what I find myself missing is very telling: I miss spending time with kids, dancing, singing, teaching them, watching them grow, hearing their crazy ideas, seeing their interests form, and most importantly learning from them what it means to be resilient, show unconditional love, and be driven. These qualities were shown in very different ways between my 5th and 1st grade students, but each student shaped me in a certain way. You learn from each other.
While entertaining local village children with some songs at an English camp temporarily fills the void, I miss seeing their smiling faces every day. I’m not sure what this means about the future, but it is definitely going to play a role in deciding what I do post this year; and in the mean time I will continue enjoy the brief moments I get to play with children at the local Thai restaurants and those that are enamored by the white girl biking through town. Apparently I am just as interesting to them as they are to me!