Teach Enrich Empower
Teaching in Vietnam - I was made for this!
I’m Daniela. I’m 28, from Germany, and as of February, a TEFL teacher! I left my job as a social worker and my home country to travel the world in 2017, beginning in sunny Vietnam. From day one I found myself infatuated with Vietnamese culture, food and people.
10 months later, and with adventures around South East Asia, Australia and Eastern Europe under my belt, I returned to Vietnam – but this time as a TEFL teacher, not as a tourist! A 9 to 5 job back home didn’t sound like much fun, and I’ve always loved the English language – so why not share my privilege?
I attended and finished the 120 hours online course at The TEFL Academy while still on the road, even writing some of my assignments on the beach.
I applied for pretty much every teaching job I could find. The TEFL job boards and Facebook groups were a great way to contact with potential employers; on Facebook dozens of new opportunities pop up each day. A week later, I was looking at my first invitation to a job interview in an English language centre in Hanoi.
I’ll tell you the truth – I was very nervous before the interview and demo class. But I landed the job – phew! – and I’m now teaching at Popodoo Larva English School for 21 hours per week spread over 6 days. For the first time I’m able to put the theory I learnt on the TEFL course into action and it’s clear that The TEFL Academy equipped me with the knowledge I need to lead a class.
My week’s classes are all different ages and levels; the students are between 5 and 13 years old. I also work in two kindergartens in Hanoi where I teach 3 hours a week for 3-4-year olds. So, there’s quite a variety!
“The TEFL job board & Facebook groups were great to connect with employers.”
The work couldn’t be more rewarding and fun. My colleagues are very supportive, and the students are so cute – they’re funny and they’re smart (when they’re behaving!) While the basic lesson plans are provided by the Vietnamese English teachers, I’m in charge of designing games, exercises and the execution of the lesson. A Vietnamese assistant teacher is always by my side, which is reassuring, and teaching materials like flashcards are provided by the centre. My school is very well equipped too; every classroom has a smartboard and Internet.
The students, both in the language school and in the kindergarten, welcome me with open arms each day, and always greet me with a big smile: “Hello, teacher Dani!”
The ride to school is about 12 km with my motorbike – something else I never thought I’d find myself doing.
Three weeks in, I can say with certainty that teaching English is one of the most exciting, rewarding and challenging things I’ve ever done. It gives me the opportunities to learn about a culture so different from my own, with a far deeper perspective than any tourist can gain. I’m planning to stay for a while, and after that, I’ve got the freedom of a TEFL qualification to go wherever I want. Who knows which country’s next?
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