How I teach differently this year

Every year, around this time, I revamp my teaching materials. This year, I switched to the co-construction approach of teaching. Before each chapter, students in the team will send me articles, movies, and exercises they want me to include. Such team will then host an independent study session for the class. I want to explain my WHY here for future reflection.

1. As the age and generation gap between my students and I have been widening throughout the year, I want my teaching to stay current. In the past year, I surveyed to understand them better. However, eighteen-year-old seems to be the age of unsureness. I saw the same pattern in their answers. Students find information from the same source, either Facebook or Kenh 14. They have not figured out their answers when asked about the career plan. I want my students to find their sureness through reading, decide what instil their curiosity, and share with their classmates. More important, I want them to start a habit of research prior to learning session.

2. Some ten years ago, when I was their age, we had two learning sessions: one with our professors and one with our teaching assistant for Q&A. We do not have this luxury in Vietnam. There is no separate Q&A session. Hence, we do not have enough time to deliver our lessons and dig deep into problem sets. The time shortage leads students to believe they need extra classes and crash courses before an exam. Making the independent learning sessions compulsory, I hope to introduce them to working in a team regularly.

3. The final and very selfish reason, I want to grow as a teacher and a learner. I have learned incredibly from my students and younger friends over the past years. I want to continue such learning habits through this co-construction approach with my students. The first week went well. I can't wait to watch a student's recommended movie called Gung Ho! this Tet Holiday.

When writing these lines, I am listening to Spotify's curated Viet Hip-hop. I arrived at this Suboi track, and I would like to share with you all.

Happy Tet holiday you all!

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