Looking back on my time as an ESL Teacher in Hungary, I don't know how I survived.
198 students. 4 schools. Language barrier. Lack of formal ESL experience.
But then, I remember these faces, and I know how I made it through. Fueled on the smiles of these kids, lit by their light, their spirit.
There were days I sat on the desk, legs swinging as I sighed and bit the inside of my mouth, just waiting for the yelling to stop.
There were moments of quiet work, or confident conversation.
My students wore blindfolds, created mazes from desks, and gave directions.
I have mixed feelings about teaching, as you may have deduced if you've been reading for awhile. The "agenda" makes me uncomfortable and frankly, teaching is hard.
But one thing I have no mixed feelings about? The kids.
So this year I am gone from their lives, but I will always remember the year we spent together, chair-hurling and all.
Because how can you do anything but love faces like this?