Teaching and mentoring have always been my passion. Seeing others learn, grow and achieve their dreams is what motivates me and is the reason I have been working in the education and training sector for over 25 years.
Deciding to teach in Vietnam is one of the best decisions I have made in my life. But why did I choose to come to Vietnam? Well, there are several things that lead me here but the main reason I decided on Vietnam was that my Vietnamese/Australian friends all spoke very highly about their home country and encouraged me to go.
Now, after 5 years living here, I can see why my friends love Vietnam so much. For starters, the caring nature, generosity and genuine warmth of the people is unmatched anywhere else around the world. I have also fallen in love with the food and have had many opportunities to share the most delectable meals with great friends. One of my favourite dishes is Bún Đậu Mắm Tôm, which, seems to surprise a few people.
My road to teaching in Vietnam begun with stepping off the plane from Australia and commencing an intense CELTA course in Ho Chi Minh city. This was my first experience teaching students in Vietnam and, although I was very nervous and apprehensive at first, the students showed much compassion and were very reassuring which put me at ease quickly.
After finishing CELTA, I started teaching at an international school and discovered that my experience with the students in the course was reflected in my new students. In fact, I feel extremely fortunate to be teaching in Vietnam where students consistently demonstrate such a high level of dedication to their studies and are so eager to learn.
I think confidence is an integral part of developing fluent English speaking skills. Quite often, students can feel shy and unsure of their English skills and this can make them hesitant to take part in class speaking activities. I can empathize with students who experience these feelings as I have the same reaction when I am asked to try speaking Vietnamese in front of others (by the way, my Vietnamese speaking skills are not very good).
In class, I focus on enhancing my student’s confidence and self-belief and provide a collaborative and supportive classroom environment that is conducive to effective learning. I am genuinely interested in the ideas and thoughts of my students and encourage them to express their opinions. I find that I learn something new from my students every class.
My class objective is to always provide each student I teach with the knowledge and skills to reach their full potential and achieve their educational goals. It is common for me to offer students additional material to assist them in practicing at home and I am more than happy to spend time before or after class to give some extra advice on any issues a student may be having with their English studies.
Every day brings new opportunities to collaborate with the amazing people I work with and to make a positive difference in the educational experiences of my students. It is such a pleasure to go to work each day when teaching in Vietnam and I intend to remain in this wonderful country long term.
Written by Glenn Hagate, ILP