Friday, March 21, 2014

It's So Hard To Say Goodbye

Wednesday was my last night teaching English at the Cascade Park Public Library in Vancouver, Washington. I had been teaching an evening class each week for the past 9 months. But I had to stop because driving home so late at night was wearing me down. (Don't worry, I just picked up two more day classes at Clark College, so I'll still be busy!)

My time there was priceless. The supervisor at the site, Milton, was eager to share his decades of experience with me, and he let me completely take over. I taught 3/4 of all the classes.

But the biggest surprise during the past 9 months, the thing no one warned me about, was the sadness I would feel when students left. Since I come from a elementary school background, I am used to having students all year long. At Cascade Park, many of the students were just visiting the US. Some were here for a few weeks, and some were here for a few years. It never occurred to me that my students, whom I had bonded with (some for weeks, some for months) would leave me. And because I was so focused on creating interesting and informative lesson plans, I completely forgot to give them my email address so that could keep in touch. So now I just have to wonder how Lucy (Czech Republic) and Ji-Hu (S. Korea) are doing.

So that I don't make this mistake again, I have now added my email address to the bottom of every worksheet I make. This way, if they do want to contact me, they can. But I still get a little sad when their time is up. I'm not sure if that feeling will ever stop.

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