Sue spreads positive energy wherever she goes. Her smile arouses passions, and her eyes shine when she speaks of her English students.
At 23 years old, Sue has set up her own English Lessons and is the coolest English teacher in town. Her methods are not the typical old tricks that everybody knows and that strategy is giving her very positive results on her students.
We met her by chance. One day before our trip to Vietnam, we were without accommodations. In our desperate search to find a place to stay, Sue contacted us and invited us to her home. Her profile on Couchsurfing looked interesting, so we accepted.
When we got there, we found a very different flat, but we were used to it. Her apartment was on the third floor in a building of 25 floors and about nine neighbours per landing, Sue lived with her brother Harry and about 3 or 4 roommates. The door was open for almost all day. In addition, she also had a room that had been renovated and turned into an English classroom. We would share space with a couple from France who was travelling around the world for four years. They had also just arrived. We would sleep in bunk beds on a corner of the dining room, the same space in which our host slept. In total, there were about 9 or 10 in the home, plus children entering and leaving the flat all the time.
Although it might seem like the French movie “The Spanish Apartment” with a bunch of people coming in and out we were very comfortable. This was especially true because Sue hosted her guests with a love that came from her heart. She’s a very humble person who gave us everything she could, and we appreciated her efforts to make us feel comfortable.
Although Sue’s passion is to teach English, she studied Bussiness at the University. A few months ago she obtained the TESOL certificate (English title for English teachers). The goal of her classes is for her students to communicate well in the English language. Therefore, the first thing she encourages them is to have continuous contact with English-speaking people. To do this, she uses the Couchsurfing APP, where she contacts people from all over the world who visit Hanoi and invites them to her home. In return, she only asks them to spend two hours in the afternoon talking with their students.
On the other hand, she uses Facebook Groups to contact the families to become involved in the whole process. During the days we stayed with her, she proposed “The 20 Days of Reading” challenge to her students. Parents should record them reading in English each day and then share their experience with their Facebook Group. She wants to encourage the habit of reading in all children.
Every day she posts a message on Facebook, encouraging them to share their videos to show how they’re making progress on it.
What I liked the most about her is her constant desire for improvement. She is a walking whirlwind that is always asking for the opinions and advice of others in order to improve the teaching period. She wants to improve her teaching techniques in order to keep her students motivated. She has the same doubts as to any other teacher who wants the best for their students. Best of all she never stops looking for new resources.
We’ve made a good tandem, and nowadays, I could say that I’m part of her team of advisors. My training and experience as a Pedagogue allow me to walk beside her in the learning process.
Her dream is to move on from a small room at home to an English Academy. Although her resources are limited, she gives everything to her students. She has even promised them to go to the cinema when they finish The Reading Challenge. All the little ones are excited about the idea!
Nowadays she’s working on a festival at the end of the quarter in which parents of her pupils will come, and the little ones will teach what they have learned.
I hope you can make your dream come true!