School Report - John Martin
I am a university professor with extensive experience teaching and engaging in educational research in several countries. I am currently living and working in Vietnam. On Friday, December 21, I was invited by the NGO Better Life Vietnam (BLV) to visit the Chau Son primary school in the rural area near Hanoi. BLV is a social enterprise in Vietnam focusing on primary education, with one of their main projects being the donation of books to rural schools; the purpose of this visit was to provide the children with these books. As a university professor, I have had very little experience interacting with primary grade children so that made me a little apprehensive about my role.
This experience was wonderful for me. The students were eager to meet me, shake my hand and have their picture taken with me. Most importantly, it was clear to me that they enjoyed learning at this school. My experience, in the 13 countries that I have worked in, is that students often do not like school. By contrast, these students enjoyed attending this school and wanted to learn. Getting a children’s book was a valuable present for them. I have studied and taught at some of the best universities and schools in the world, but nowhere have I found a better learning environment than at the Chau Son school. I encourage anyone interested in teaching and learning to visit this school and support the work of Better Life Vietnam.