Ever wondered what being a TEFL teacher is like? Well, wonder no more, as we’ve asked our Vietnam intern, Kerry, to give us an idea of what her day in Hanoi, Vietnam was like.
Your alarm wakes you, alerting you to the sound of scooter horns beeping, street sellers calling and cockerels crowing outside. It’s time for a cool shower, running through some last-minute lesson prep in your head as you go.
Grab a cold, reviving ca phe sua da (Vietnamese Iced Coffee) from the street seller outside your door for a quick caffeine fix before jumping into your chartered taxi with a few of your fellow interns. Laugh about the previous night’s activities, and share lesson pointers for the day ahead on your journey through the busy roads to your school. The city is already live and kicking around you!
It’s time for today’s first lesson! This session is grade 1, the smallest and most enthusiastic learners who are always really happy to see you. This lesson contains plenty of songs, chanting and repetition to drill in key learnings (perhaps aided by some sweets! You can never go wrong with sweets for grade 1).
Time to relax after your three morning sessions. Grab a bowl of hot pho (noodle broth) sit on a tiny chair with the other teachers, cool off in the staff room over some lesson planning, or just grab the taxi home for a nap – this heat can be tiring!
Back to it! Now travel to another school campus, where you’ll spend an hour and a half’s lesson teaching grade 9 – teenagers, but who says they need to be stroppy? Plenty of rapport and keeping lesson topics current makes for a really engaging, rewarding class they’re sure to remember.
Fifteen minutes to yourself to grab a cool drink and go over some marking or planning.
After another afternoon lesson learning about verbs and adverbs with grade 10 students, you’re ready to jump in that taxi back to your shared intern house and veg out in the communal area for a while! A bit of lesson planning for tomorrow, some quiet time to catch up on your favourite series on Netflix – a well earned rest from your busy day!
You and the other interns gather in the communal area to catch up on your days and take in the warm, bustling atmosphere of the city below.
Time to head out! Treat yourself to a cold, freshly brewed local beer (bia hoi) at the pub round the corner – so refreshing in this heat! Chat with the other interns, people watch and take in the atmosphere of lively, contained chaos that pervades the streets in Hanoi.
Tummies start rumbling, so head to the cheap restaurant across the street to gorge on noodles, hot soup, roasted meats and fresh fruit and veg – whatever takes your fancy.
The group have been talking about old films, so head back to the accommodation and stick one on before you all turn in for the night!
Early to bed, early to rise… you know the rest. Another day in rocking Hanoi is waiting around the corner!
So, there we have it. Big thanks to Kerry for sharing her experiences with us. A whole day in the life of a TEFL teacher in Hanoi, Vietnam revealed. Busy, fun-packed and fulfilling. If this sounds like something you’d be up for, then take a closer look at our Paid Vietnam TEFL Internship here:
And don’t forget to download our guide for more info. Until the next Intern Insight article.