I have students write down some information about themselves on little notecards. I was re-reading these yesterday before teaching and ran across some charming ones.
On Cindy's notecard: "At last, my life attitude: Working like ant, Living like butterfly."
On Missingly's notecard (yes, that is her chosen name): I'm a special girl. I have my own rule of behavior.
On Amy's notecard, written within the first week of being my student: "My oral english is bad, but I have confidence in making a great progress, as I have a good teacher. I love you!"
Reading these notecards and seeing the student's faces made me realize that I have missed being in the classroom, interacting with them, discussing culture, life, and holidays together. Yes, I am happy to be back in Hengyang with all its garbage, spitting, and public defacating, being in a classroom of students and keeping my eye on the prize makes it all worth it.