Man Seeks Out Teacher Who Taught Him To Read And Write Until She Surprises Him

Man posing with teacher who taught him how to read
instagram | @jamil_jan_kochai_author

Do you remember learning how to read? Perhaps you have a faint recollection of your parents, teachers and TV shows helping you put words together.

One man, Jamil Jan Kochai, remembers very well who taught him how to read. Now that he makes his living as an author, he feels especially indebted to the woman who took the time to help him all those years ago — and he decided to seek her out.

Jamil Jan Kochai is an accomplished author.

His debut novel, 99 Nights in Logar, was a finalist for the Pen/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel. He's also written a variety of shorter fiction and essays that have appeared in various publications.

He shared a heartwarming story on Twitter.

Jamil showed a picture of his second grade class, taught by Ms. Lung. He has fond memories of Ms. Lung having the time and patience to teach him, a recent immigrant, how to read and write in English.

He wanted to track down his old teacher, but there was one problem: he didn't have a first name to go on.

He went in-depth on his special bond with Ms. Lung.

The thread is long and detailed (remember, Jamil's an author) — too long to share here. But start with this tweet and work your way down. It's truly worth a read.

Then, out of the blue, Ms. Lung found Jamil.

Jamil's efforts to find Ms. Lung didn't work out, but in the end, he didn't need to find her. She found him, showing up to surprise him at a book signing.

It's a fantastic story.

"Last night, after my reading, Ms. Lung's husband, Allen, rushed up to me, introduced himself, and brought me over to Ms. Lung," Jamil wrote. "Seven-year-old me finally got to hug my 2nd grade teacher again. We chatted and smiled and cried a little."

She was the spark he needed.

"My father always used to say in Pashto that every child is a rocket filled with fuel and all they need is a single spark to lift off into the sky," wrote Jamil. "Ms. Lung, he said, was my spark. Throughout my life, I've been blessed to encounter a series of remarkable teachers that have given me their time and consideration and knowledge, but everything really began with Ms. Lung.

It clearly struck a chord.

After an outpouring of supportive tweets in response to his story, Jamil reflected on what it all meant. He made a point about the tough job teachers are asked to do, and how one dedicated teacher can make all the difference in a student's life.

It looks like his new book's a hit.

Jamil shared this article from the Guardian that included a shout-out and some positive words about his new book.

We're willing to bet that Ms. Lung went home and enjoyed her signed copy of Jamil's book as well.

Is there one teacher that you remember over the others?

By the time most kids graduate high school, they've been taught by dozens of teachers. But oftentimes, there's one teacher who stands out over the rest. Let us know about some of your favorite teachers in the comments section.