REVIEW OF DONALD PLANTE
Name: Donald Plante
Program: Teacher Gen 9
I spent four weeks teaching English for Touch the World in Hanoi, Vietnam in April 2017. My experience consisted of living in the school’s Cầu Giấy residence, interacting with the TTW buddies and teaching several English classes.
In terms of my living conditions, I felt that the school did a good job with regards to living up to their end of the bargain. They sent someone to meet me at the airport when I arrived, they provided two meals per day and they gave me a place to sleep. The accommodations are modest, however they are clean and I had a good roommate which makes a big difference. The school also provided resources to help me find my way to classes across the city.
I thought that the buddy program was terrific as it allowed me to make meaningful connections with Vietnamese friends on my first week. My buddies Henry and Trang did many things for me such as taking me to the bank, picking me up from the airport, taking me on a weekend adventure, taking me shopping in the local market and taking me to the Vietnamese Museum of War. Interacting with the two buddies also gave both parties opportunities to practice each other’s languages and to discuss life in each other’s part of the world.
Finally, I really enjoyed the teaching aspect of the program. The students were very respectful, cooperative and pleasant. My only negative concern with the classes were that the attendance declined towards the end. Having the tutors to bridge the language gap between the students was very helpful and made my job really easy. I highly recommend this experience who would like to try teaching as it is a very easy way to start. Compared to teaching geography or history back in Canada, there is a lot less pressure on you at Touch the World.
I had a great time in Vietnam and I hope that I can return some day.