First Day Teaching English in Vietnam

Just got back home from my first day of class and even though I was pretty nervous, I’m happy to say that everything turned out well. Previous English teachers I know have told me to talk really slow, and with that little bit of information, I thought I planned enough material to last for the three-hour class. I brought in pictures of my friends and family (they loved the one of me as a baby making a stink face), students introduced themselves to the rest of the class, and I went over what I expected and how grading would work.

I even had them give me an American name to call them and why they chose that name. One girl went with Mylie (yes after Mylie Cyrus), while one of my male students went with Young King (which gets an automatic ‘A’ in my grade book). You would think this would take a good amount of time; I loved when my notes only took an hour to go over.

I made everyone take an early 10 minute break so I could think of what else to do. I quickly wrote down some questions, had the class pair up, ask their partner the questions, then had each person stand in front of the class to give the responses. It was cute when they got up and said “I’m happy to present my friend/classmate/partner…”. Some of the questions included what do you want to be when you grow up, why Can Tho University, what is your favorite subject, etc.

What really got the class going with laughter was when I decided to try my best at reciting numbers 1-10 in Vietnamese. I even got an applaud when I completed it successfully (just thinking about it makes me chuckle). In the end, I let them go a half hour early with a simple homework assignment. After I said class was dismissed, they just sat there. Back in America, everyone RUNS the moment the teacher says we can go. I’m glad to see that these students take their studies seriously! It’s a huge relief that the first class is over because now I know what to expect and I don’t have to be so nervous. 

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