My journey to become a lecturer at the Faculty of Foreign Languages, Dong Nai Technology University, started in the rainy season in 2007 when I enrolled for the Technical English Teacher Education programme run by the Faculty of Foreign Languages (FFL) at Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology and Education (UTE). 13 years has gone by with lots of events and journeys, but my emotions of the old day remain alive in my mind. A little girl feeling cold for the rain and overwhelmed by the busy city was standing in the delightful, green campus of UTE and surrounded by warm, friendly people. I will never forget these contrary images.
Over four years at UTE, many of my qualities, such as patience, tolerance, flexibility, and strong will to overcome challenges of work and life, were formed after busy semesters followed by stressful examinations as well as by FFL teachers who were demanding but loving. Every course and every teacher deeply impressed me in different ways. For example, I was lucky to learn Speaking 1, one of the first courses, with Ms Thuy Tien. For naïve freshmen, she was like an angel with her warmth and charm, distinctive features of women from Hue. I later learned with Ms Thanh Ha in a Teaching Methodology course and the Practicum. Her consideration, devotion and friendliness greatly influenced my journey to become a teacher.
I started my teaching career as a tutor after my freshman year. My UTE student card was my “passport” that strengthened beliefs of learners’ parents to send their beloved children to such a young and inexperienced teacher like me. I can never forget how happy I was with my learner’ improvement resulting in my wage increase. Since the third year of my student life, I taught English at foreign language centers. It is unforgettable that I had to wear full make-up and formal clothes because I was often teased about my youthful look. I also had to pay more attention to teaching quality, which compensated for my inexperience. These part-time jobs provided me with precious chances to use English language teaching theories and techniques I had learned in real classes, broadening my teaching experiences. As a result, teaching English is not just a job, but a career of mine.
Being a teacher gives me a rich spiritual life. Classrooms have become stages where I can burn myself for my passion. I have also gained new experiences and practical knowledge through working with my students on their professional and personal development journeys. I am always delighted to attend my students’ commencement ceremonies. Their maturity, confidence and success are the fruits of my teaching career. I strongly believe that such fruits are enjoyed by all teachers, no matter they are retired, in-service or future teachers.
Lương Hà Chúc Quỳnh - Lecturer at Dong Nai Technology Universtiy