Caveat: Student Goodbyes, Part 1

I didn't make it an official homework assignment, but I told my students I would welcome thoughtful goodbye messages. Mostly the elementary kids wrote on paper, while the middle schoolers wrote me emails.

I will scan the handwritten messages tomorrow and maybe post them once I get to Oregon. For today, here are some of my older students' typed messages. I place them here unedited in any way. I can only say that I am deeply touched by all these messages, and I will miss these students greatly.



My Dearest Friend Jared

Hi, Jieun – Joy – Park Daegi is writing this letter.

I sincerely cannot believe where you are going tomorrow. I’m very sorry to say good bye to you. But I also know that you have to be, you must be, should be happy despite of your living area. And you will be, too. You are the one of the best teachers I have ever met. Jared, You taught me so many valuable things including English skills. Speaking, Writing, Listening, Comprehensive Class, and all the kinds of games, – such as Mafias, Beans, Board, Taro – I will never forget what you gave me. In the moment of writing these sentences, I feel like I’m gonna cry a little, thinking about the past (with you). Maybe, …I remember when I first met you in 2012. Even though I did not know much about you, I felt comfortable and I liked you a lot. (Still I do.) You are like my father, and sometimes you are like my best friend. I really like the way you are and respect you as a great teacher. Whenever I have a talk with you, it is fresh, new, and fun. You are highly helpful person to me. You respect me as a human. So I’m gonna respect your every decision. This flight is by your own decision, and I respect it without saying a complaint. You are estimable. Except me, all of your friends would think like that. The person who made my dream is you. Jared affected me very much. From now on, I am going to learn Spanish and Latin, sometimes Japanese to realize my hopes. I would love to write stories, I love talking with ‘my’ people. When I am more than 20 years old, I want to be a writer who writes essays, novels, and plays. I want to be a linguist as I told you. I want to be counselor for young wandering children. I want to be a linguistic professor. One thing is indisputable. Even if I do not realize those dreams, I am sure I must be happy anyway.

There are still many words to convey, but I cut it out because there are also many letters to write later.

Just remember you will do well. The road you take would be the best way for you. Take care. Will miss you a lot. Will often write a letter when I feel relaxed. God Always Blesses You, haha.


Thank you again for all you have done.

To. 왜 저래 쌤, Jared, Mr. Way, Jared Way, Jared Owen Way, My honorable teacher

From. 지은(2003.10.03.)

2018.07.20 on a sweltering Summer day in front of my black laptop


Jared. I'm Su Min. Wow, you are leaving ? I can't beileve it. I think it was so short time for us to share our episodes. I can have so interesting informations from your class. Thank you. I always expected to get fresh stories in Toefl class. It was really fun. I wish you had feel how concentrated I am. I can remember El Nino and la nina. Of course I can't understand yet. I only know that it is the climate changes that give negetive effects when temperature is stop by 10 years … bla bla Whatever, good information. I am exactly surprised when you can explain everything about any topics and I haven't heard you are yelling. I really respect about that points.^!^ You are my role model. I love teps listening because I like your style. Thank you for making interest in teps listening even if it was hard.  In addition, I really want to thank you that you are always confident about me. Believe it or not, I felt in my heart. I wish this is true! I built confidence because of you. Thank you. I'm afraid that I can't speak with you, so I can't get awesome stories. I felt I gradually hear what you are speaking and now I can understand excatly 98.3%, because 1.7% is my vocabulary skill. See~~ I get confident in this section. My strength is listening!! Thank you for being my best teacher. Oh! you said I have to write Who I am and Why You should remember me. Okay, Don't forget me Jared. I can't forget you either. And you should remember me because I'm the student who likes your class most. I have seen many foreign teachers for 10 years. However, you are my best. You should be proud of this. ^^ I think Every students will think like me. I will work hard and of course I will get in touch with my curious questions. I will expect incredible reply. Please be healthy. And be happy. I will miss you and your greeting, Hi alligators~! Are you ready for fun English?~~ (Is that right?)  What ever, Thank you so much Jared. Thank you.


Here we go


Um…This kind of thing is so shy….


When I first saw you, I wanted to go out. I mean really!! You were too scary to me. But later, when I read a book with you, I started to think that you are not scary. And the next day, I became the top student. At that time, I have never been to an academy I just studied alone so it was hard to do homework or memorize words. Bu t because it was easy for me, I started to do homework in Karma. Of course, it was a wrong choice. When I went to honors the homework was too hard for me to do it. Anyway, I'm so sorry to hear that you are going to Alaska. I'm still a little bit sad. But if you don't forget me, I won't forget you either. We really had a long time with each other. When I was in honors, a teacher came instead of you. It was really boring. I didn't have anything to eat. Oh, never mind. ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ I wish you to be healthy wherever you go. You were a nice teacher. It isn't 300words but I did my best. I really wish that we can keep in touch and visit Korea someday. OK, I think this is real goodbye. Bye!! -from your lovely student who wrote your last essay, soyeon-




Hi, I am Olivia.🙂

I am very surprised to hear the news that you leave Korea. To be honest, I am very sad that I have to say "Good bye"to you. To tell the truth,you are the first native English teacher I have ever met. And I have studied with you in Karma since last December. First, I could not speak English very well. But after I met you, I practiced speaking more. So my speaking skill became better than that time.  Your explanations and own stories helped me very much. Oh I think also my listening skill became better. Now I can concentrate on what others are saying in English too. I think I could not became better without your help.


And I also feel sorry for you because,I did my best but I could not write my essay well.(This means homework..haha) But you told me how to write essay correctly. From then on, I am practicing writing essay correctly.. I think I would be better more and more if I practice many times.


You also helped me adapt to Karma. Your classes and games helped me to get along with my good friends. And your story and joke  always made us to have fun. (Like 'Jamesfied'..) You made classes fun!

I do not know other people's opinions, but I think your class is the most fun. So I always waited for your listening,speaking,writing class.


You were very good teacher for us. You have many knowledge and experience, so we could learn about culture of the world, what the tornado is, why did the water dried on some river,..more than that. So I am very sorry that you are leaving. But I will keep in touch with you after you leave Korea!!


From. Olivia



Hi, Jared teacher. I'm June.

You must go U.S.A. Your uncle is sick. When I was six grade, I met you.  I was nervous when my foreign teacher was not familiar. But my teacher is really good, so I think I enjoyed my class. It was good that you always teach me a lot, but I feel bad because you go to America. I had a class with you for 7 months after I came to middle school. It was so fun! I don't want you to go, but I have to go because someone like your father is sick. Teacher must be sad because uncle is sick. I don't know when you will come to America, but you can contact me! I still don't know who I'll be with if you go to the States. I wish I could be an interesting person like you. Teacher, if anything happens, I'll listen to your advice. I'll think you're going, but it's next to you. I will get along well in my school life, so I want you to get along. Take good care of your uncle, too. I will also pray so that the disease doesn't get worse. Of course, you should take care of your health. I will stay healthy, too. Let's meet in good health the next time we meet. Teacher! Then you should always be healthy. Then I'll write it down to here. Goodbye! See you later.



Hello, Jared teacher. I am writing this letter because you will come back to the United States of America. I met you when I was in 5th grade. And you are always seem happy. When I listened you will come back to the United States of America? I was little bit sad. You always kind to everybody. When I was in the Newton1 class? I played many games with you. It was very fun. I want to play that many games with you again and again. But you will come back to the America because you’re uncle is sick. I do not have that experience. But I empathize your situation. You said that your uncle is like second father. That means you need him and he loves you. So maybe I think your uncle is very important in your life. So if I am in your situation, I will do like you. I will pray your uncle is not sick. If you have some times in the United States of America? I believe you will check the E-mail. If I have some problems, then Can I send you E-mail? It was a very good time. Time is very fast. As I said, I met you when I was 12 years old. It is just 2 years. I want to see you everyday. I am happy to go to the Karma. Because there are many teachers like you. I think you are very kind. Lastly, If you want to come to Korea? Then come to Korea. Maybe there are a lot of memories. Bye bye teacher. I will pray for your uncle.






Dear Jared


Hi teacher!! It's Julie. It is really sad that I can not see you anymore.

Beacause you taught me hard from when I did not know alphabet until I was in the highest class now.

I learn a lot thanks to you. Such as history and how to talk with foreign well. Also you make me love English.

Thank you. Actually I was young,  I was scared when I saw you.

That is because you were the first foreigner I saw.

It is mean you were my first foreign teacher. But now, you are my favorite teacher><

Please stay healthy and happy when you go to America.

And do not forget me. I will not forget you, either.

I want to keep communicating with you.

Will you help me even if you are in America?

Please contact me if you come Korea again.

I want to see you until I'll become adult.

Bye teacher. You are very good teacher to me.




To Jared teacher


Teacher I'm great students James. I'm so sad when I hear the news about you have to go to USA. I'm so happy when you teach our class. I have seen you for two years. I remember the first time when we met. I was in 6 grade, and I was in newton 1 class. There was Ray,me,Toby,Harry,Eric. However, now there is only Harry,Toby, and me. I learned writing,listening, speaking from you for 2 years. and my English is more improved. I want talk about your personality. Jared teacher, you have very special personality. I envy your personality. You have very good personality, because your personality can make many friends. I think you are very funny and very kind. Also, I want ask some questions for you. I wonder why you pick Korea about your job. Maybe you like Korea, but I want your answer. If you have time, please answer me. Korea is not famous country, and I wonder how can you know Korea and why you move to the Korea. Also, I think Korea's food is spicier than other country's. How about your first Korean style spicy food? Also what's the food? Our class wants to buy you a very spicy food. That name is stir-fried Rice Cake. If you want eat that, We'll buy that. I'm so sad because I met you only two years. If I come Karma early, and I could met you for 3~5 years. I want you don't forget me, and my classmate. Our class is very noise but our class always like you, so don't forget us. I'll call you after 3 months with my classmate. So please don't forget me……


By great student James.




Hello Jared, I am Jun Seo. I think you will be one of the best teacher in my mind. Because of you, I learned a lot of things. I had a very good time with you and I hope that the time we were together will be the best memory in your mind. I know that you will lose many things if you go to the U.S.A. The first time you said that to us. I was very sorry to heard that. After that, I am trying not to forget you forever, because you were the first teacher who made me laugh and it was very impressived. The first time we met in the Academy, I always looked you very strangely. However, oneday I realized that you are very kind to me and my classmates, so I became a person who do not look you strangely. You know, you are the best teacher that I have seen in the Karma Academy. When you teach our class, I thought that the time we had was only 20 minutes, but it was about 45 minutes. All the time you said to us, and all the time you teach us about something, and all the time you play with us were always fun for me, and I am very sad that we have only two weeks to see each other in HS-1 class. I will miss you and other students like Julie, Toby, Andy, James, Olivia, Linda, Harry, Kevin, Junes, and so on will miss you, too. I am very sorry that I have no present for you. You gave us a lot of information and a lot of present, but I have no present for you. I am really sorry for that, because I do not even know that you will leave this country in a month, and I am busy these days, so I can not give you a present. Thank you for everything, and I hope you to see me someday.


Hello teacher I'm 규민

I'm sorry to hear that you will go Alaska.we will miss you so much.

Thank you for teaching us until now.You are my the best teacher.

I want you to come back to see us.We never don't forget you.


















Hello, Jared. I'm 승민 I'm sorry to hear that you will move. 🙁 I've met you since I was 12. You were a good teacher for me and your listening class was always fun. My listening skills became better thanks to you. All the moments with you were meaningful and fun. I hope you will come back.^^

ㅏ ㄷㄷㄷㄷㄷㄷㄷㄷㄷㄷ

ㅈㅈㅈㅈㅈㅈㅈㅈㅈㅈㅈㅈㅈㅈ ㅔ ㄹㄹㄹㄹㄹㄹㄹ ㅏ ㄷ

ㅈ ㅔ ㄹ ㅏ ㄷ

ㅈ ㅈ ㅔㅔㅔㅔㅔ ㄹㄹㄹㄹㄹㄹㄹㄹ ㅏㅏㅏ ㄷㄷㄷㄷㄷㄷㄷㄷㄷㄷ

ㅈ ㅈ ㅔ ㄹ ㅏ

ㅈ ㅈ ㅔ ㄹㄹㄹㄹㄹㄹㄹ ㅏ ㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡ



To. Teacher Jared Way
Hello. I'm Min Jae Kim. Thank you for teaching about listening. I hope your uncle health become healthy. Also I hope I meet you again before I quit Karma. Finally I'm so glad to meet you. If you come back Karma, I will welcome you so so so much. I'll miss you so much.
By. Min jae



Teacher, We will miss you so much. I will not forget you. So please don't forget us. I'm really sad when I heard about you go Alaska. I hope that sometime we see again.


Hi, teacher.

I came to Karma Academy late and did not see you much. You said your uncle is very sick. When I heard that, I'm very sad.

We have a short time with each other but I will miss you. Bye.



hello i am 성연

i entered this academy 2 months ago.

we have few classes and i"m so sad that i have to say goodbye.

but i was very happy because i had a nice class with a nice teacher.

i won't forget you if this is the last time.

appreciate to you for giving me a nice time


[daily log: walking, 9.0km; carrying heavy box to post office, 0.5km]

One comment

  1. Wendy Miller

    Wow! Those are great testimonials! Feel good that you impacted so many lives positively! Sorry to hear about Arthur, but glad you can help him out. Enjoy your new adventure.

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