A Moth Or A Mouse?

I teach a class of six 11-12 year olds who are at a lower level than the rest of their form class, so are separated for English and Grammar lessons. Some of them are keen, some of them are really unenthusiastic, and as many games as we play and as much as I try to make the lesson un-monotonous and more interesting, there’s not much I can do when I have to follow a book page by page. Continue reading


A Special Day For Teachers

Thursday was just a beautiful day all around.

It was Teacher’s Day here in Vietnam.

I experienced something of the same name while teaching in Thailand. It was an interesting kind of a day. There was an assembly, and a select number of students from each class got to go onto the stage and shuffle along the stage on their knees, bow to the director of the school (as if he were a God of some sort), present him with their crazy flower arrangement, and then that was it. Next class, next kids, next crazy flowers. It was fun, but nothing particularly special. All the teachers were given jasmine flowers bracelets. I can’t remember who gave me mine now, but it smelt gorgeous.

This time round it was completely different. Continue reading

Two songs, a dance and a quiz show

Vietnam-UK Friendship Association

Last Saturday, everyone from the English Department plus a bus-full of kids attended a meet-up with the Vietnam-UK Friendship Association at a local university.

We met a 7.30pm near the school bus. Lizzie and I had gone for food before hand and had seen the kids rehearsing as we went past the hall. Some kids were doing a dance which they have done so many times now that it’s almost down to perfection, one girl was talking about her experience at the school and then singing a song with the principle’s son. We waited for a while, for what I don’t know, but it gave the English department a chance to rehearse a song that we were going to sing on Monday (more on that later).

The bus ride over was noisy. They said it was close by (2km) but it took what felt like ages to get there, though in reality it was probably only 10-15 minutes. Continue reading

It’s the little things…

There are lots of little details that I want to write about, but they don’t fit into a particular time frame or subject to make an individual post about them. I’m going to tell you a few, and then try to do a post every couple of weeks with new annoyances/amusements etc.

IMG_4702 Continue reading

Disorganised pumpkins and other Halloween mishaps

Halloween was an interesting event here in school.

Preparations started weeks before hand, with decorating every possible inch of the school in old bandages and witches made from foam.

They wanted to celebrate just the same as the UK, and asked for my advice. I explained that, as much as it’s fun for kids at home, it’s not made a huge deal of in schools though they might have a school party. It’s probably more celebrated by teenagers annoying their local pensioners and by students – making it an excuse to get drunk. I certainly used it as that during my student days in Aberdeen. Continue reading

Speedy working

I’ve discovered this fantastic new app on my phone – Hyperlapse, it’s called.

I love it.

Basically, it’s a video recorder, but you can speed it up to whatever speed you want, like a timelapse.

A while back I saw a video that was done by a guy in Melbourne, Australia, using Hyperlapse. He had cycled round the city holding his phone in one hand. it was great.

“I need to try that,” I thought.

I toyed with the idea of asking for a phone holder for the front of my bike as an early christmas present. But, to be realistic, I would probably only use it two or three times. I decided to get creative, and used a long strip of fabric to tie my phone to the inside of the basket on my bike. Continue reading