Teacher Nguyen Cong Qua says being close to and loving students is the best way to teach them. (Photo: Vinh Phong)
Sinh Ton primary school sits between rows of trees on Sinh Ton (Sin Cowe) island. Classrooms are strongly built to ensure that the local children can attend school whatever the weather is.
Teaching on the island is not easy. Many of the teachers never imagined they would be teaching classes comprised of nursery schoolers to 4th graders. While one group is doing exercises, the teacher will be teaching another group to read or write.
Young teachers like Nguyen Cong Qua and Pham Xuan Dieu volunteered to work on the island.
Qua and Dieu are single males and find it difficult to work with pre-school children. Qua says the friendliness of the military staff, soldiers, local people, and students helped relieve his homesickness for the mainland.
“When I was a student, I felt a desire to teach in a remote area or on an island. After graduation, I taught in the central city of Nha Trang for 3 years. When I heard of the recruitment of teachers for Truong Sa, I volunteered to work here. I will do my best to help the children on this island,” said Qua.
Teacher Dieu says he divides the board into three parts to teach a class comprised of students of various levels. (Photo: Vinh Phong)
Like his colleague, Pham Xuan Dieu volunteered to teach on Sinh Ton island. He says that to manage a class with children from pre-school to 4th grade, a teacher must understand the character of each student.
“The children are obedient, active, and dynamic. The parents pay lots of attention to the children. That’s very helpful to the teachers. When I was assigned to work on the island, I was glad but a bit worried because I would be working far from home. After some time, my concerns were relieved. I’m proud to work on Sin Ton island and will make the biggest contributions I can,” Dieu shared his feeling.
What worries the young teacher most is how to help island children develop the soft skills necessary for them to integrate with mainland children.
The children’s obedience and activeness are the biggest success of two teachers Nguyen Cong Qua and Pham Xuan Dieu. (Photo: Vinh Phong)
Dieu and Qua supplement their academic lessons with stories about the mainland.
“There are many problems but we try to improve our teaching skills by learning from more experienced colleagues. We hope we can prepare our students to continue learning with the children on the mainland,” said Dieu.