As we move closer into the final quarter of 2022, we are finally seeing the end of covid-19 pandemic. Borders are starting to reopen and less people are wearing masks. More importantly, people are going back to the office and students back to class. While some people enjoyed working from home, almost no one enjoyed studying at home. A big part of school is the community aspect, and that is completely lost when the classes are done over Zoom. Then school is all about memorising facts and practising maths equations. Kids are unable to laugh and enjoy themselves, and if people do not get to enjoy some happiness it’s very difficult to study hard. There needs to be a balance, otherwise people start to become depressed.
In Vietnam, English language classes have become more important with the rapid growth of the economy and many companies requiring workers to be fluent in both English and Vietnamese. Because of this, schools import foreign English teachers to teach these English language classes. The teachers come from countries where English is their native language, such as the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Canada, and South Africa. But since things started to close down in 2019, many of these teachers had to go home because they lost their job or wanted to be with their families. But now that things are getting back to normal, there are many schools looking for qualified teachers.
How to become a teacher in Vietnam
So the requirements to teach English in Vietnam are pretty much that you need to have a bachelor’s degree. Other than that being a native speaker helps and also having experience or a TEFL certificate. Having that qualifies you for most openings, but remember many people apply for these jobs so there are some things that will set you apart.
Being a good communicator and listener
As a teacher it’s your job to be able to take something that your students have never heard of before, and break it down into something simple. If you are teaching English or even maths, many things might seem really abstract to your students, but if you relate those things to real life things that they know and understand it could make more sense and you will see their grades improve. It’s also equally important to listen to your students, they might have a small issue you can’t relate to but if you can understand them more you can be a better teacher.
Knowing how to collaborate
As a teacher you need to be a team player. In Vietnam teachers have teaching assistants who are Vietnamese and can help with translations to students. You will also have co-workers who you need to work together with on planning assignments and outings and being able to work as a team is vital.
Having empathy and patience
You need to understand that people and their lives are all so vastly different. Your English test is not the only thing in that student’s mind at the moment, they could be going through issues at home or anything else. Problems at home could also affect their behaviour at school. As a teacher it’s important to try and understand why instead of getting upset, and then doing your best to help the situation and enrich the students life.
How to apply for a job
So now that you know what is expected of a good English teacher, you can start the application process. The best thing to do when applying for teaching jobs in Vietnam is to highlight your strengths. If you are a native English speaker, make sure that is shown high up on your resume. Same if you have higher degrees or experience at prestigious schools. You also want to share a bit about your personality and energy. A tip is to either write a cover letter telling your story or record an introduction video about yourself and why you want to become a teacher in Vietnam.