IESC: My first day teaching at Quang Tri orphanage

Hello everyone, I just had my first day teaching kids at Quang Tri orphanage here in Vietnam, and what a memorable day it has been for me! I’m very excited to tell you about my experience, as this is also the very first time that I have ever taught students in my life.

It’s no wonder I couldn’t sleep well the past 2 nights (it’s probably due to all the pent-up excitement)…in the nights leading up to Day One of our volunteering experience in Quang Tri, I couldn’t wait to see my first group of “students” with their excited faces and shy smiles.


My students turn out to be good kids; they’re on time for class and are very well behaved. We start our first class on the dot at 8:00am, as there are 3 main courses for us to cover: ePals, Skype & Flip video training. Due to the number of kids we’ve to train, we have 2 parallel sessions at the same time, with 2 volunteer groups doing the main coaching & the other group providing support as needed. Then, we take turns to ensure that during the course of the day, we are able to cover the whole 3 sessions for those 2 groups of kids.

My very first day of teaching went well, as Sovinti Johnson, my “partner in crime” who helped me with the teaching sessions did a great job. As Sovinti taught in English, I helped to translate into local Vietnamese. We worked well together with smooth coordination, which led to a fun and meaningful experience for the kids.

We have session after session all day long, without any breaks… as we’ve a lot of ground to cover. And before we know it, the day has passed in a wink. it’s been tiring but very fun!

I have to mention the fruit & snack party at the orphanage center after our dinner – we threw a small party for the orphanage children, teachers and directors, to thank them for supporting us. Plus, the mid-autumn festival is drawing near; it’s a great time opportunity to celebrate this joyous occasion with the kids. As we sat with the children in the orphanage courtyard, we chatted with them, and they amazed us by singing local songs. It’s a great night. The kids are simply amazing.

So far, I’ve learnt that the people of Quang Tri are very honest and sincere; they may be simple people from a rural community, but they work hard and never fail to offer us a smile when we meet. It’s this energy and passion they shower us with, that sustains our volunteers and keeps us going, despite the tough schedule. I can’t wait for Day 2!

Note: Thi Kim Ly Nguyen is from Intel Vietnam. She’s based in Intel’s office in Ho Chi Minh City.

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