Welcome new teachers to the House of Eagle

With the expansion of the school to satisfy the process of upgrading the teaching quality, even before the academic school year 2021-2022 begins, PennSchool welcomed new international and Vietnamese teachers to join in PennSchool community. All new teachers have many years of experience in teaching and hope to support future generations to develop and become useful citizens.

“When the new school year begins

The day we’ve been waiting for

But the pandemic stretch

We have to study online.”

Those are the lines of poetry shared by Ms. Phan Ngoc Khanh Quynh – teacher of BPre1 class. This year is a special year for both teachers and students to start the school year in a completely new form of the learning environment. With new teachers, these are also no small challenges.

In this school year, both students and teachers face many challenges when switching from traditional learning methods to online. It was then that Mr. Nicholas Winfrey “had to really sit down and reflect on the way my methods would have to change, in order to accommodate this new way of doing things, like learning anything new.” His challenges are not only in the knowledge that he needs to share with students but also in class management. “My biggest concerns were the effectiveness of my classroom management techniques, the level of engagement students would have with the lesson, and the speed at which I could help students learn new concepts.” Besides, Mr. David Sadler shared that “Both students and teachers have been faced with similar struggles, such as access to resources and the ability for face-to-face interaction. Children can easily be distracted, particularly at younger ages…”

With Ms. Floramie Dimashuhid – a music teacher, the challenge is even greater when students are unable to learn through practical musical instruments. However, every problem has a solution and when it comes to finding the right teaching method, the transition to online teaching also shows its own advantages.

“Online education provides a myriad of advantages to everyone. These are the flexibility and adaptability it provides which is beneficial for work-life balance since one can study at any time, even at midnight. It can be taken from home or location of choice, there are fewer chances of students missing out on lessons. Students can read and reread lectures and it allows them to take notes and discuss their thoughts in class… Through online teaching, I get to explore the various platforms which are useful to my Music Class. Students are able to experience a virtual music classroom, where they can find a set of instrument families such as percussion, woodwinds, brass, and strings. What’s more, is they actually get to experience playing the instruments by clicking and pressing keys on the keyboard. They learn and at the same time have fun with the interactive platforms.”

Ms. Do Thi Van Anh – the homeroom teacher of class B7, also has her own feelings when welcoming the new school year in this “very different” way. “So it’s been almost a month since the new school year has begun! It was also the time when I started to work in Pennschool. This is so special because I had experienced the online opening ceremony without flags or flowers, but very grand at Pennschool, especially while both of us do everything online. At the first time of school year, I thought that I would be lonely in an empty room, but it was different when I had all of you, my students. My students’ positivity and initiative in learning helped me to create exciting classes with laughter, and I was happy about this! You know, only me is not enough, because my students are an important factor contributing to the success and effectiveness of our online learning.”

Mr. Nicholas Winfrey is also more optimistic after 1 month of applying many new teaching methods. “When looking at the level of engagement I have had with my students with our new teaching platform, I can say with confidence that it has been kept to a high caliber. Thanks to a variety of software that has been developed over the pandemic, such as Schoology and game platforms in the likes of Bamboozle, Wordwall, and Educandy, keeping students focused on a lesson while having fun in the process has been easier than expected. Students like the process of learning through these different applications, as they reflect at their heart more of an interactive game format than a traditional way of instruction. I believe that even when we resume in-person instruction many teachers will still use some of these digital learning game-based platforms, due to their proven effectiveness.”

The initial effectiveness in online teaching methods and students’ excitement have become a great motivation to help PennSchool teachers to confidently continue supporting their students in this particular school year. In addition, all teachers hope that this memorable school year will continue to be as successful as previous school years and open up many new teaching ideas, helping them to convey knowledge to students effectively.

Welcome new teachers who have joined and accompanied the PennSchool community, and we hope that you will have a meaningful school year to lead and guide many students to achieve their goal as well as equipping essential knowledge for their future journey.