Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Teaching the Young

I hear that New Orleans is experimenting with new ways of teaching.
It doesn't care who do the teaching as long as it gets results.
I wish it the best of luck.
Coming from another country, I know the level of education is slower in America for secondary school and below, especially in mathematics, and I felt sad for the students here. However, I cannot say that from the college level and above, where a lot of foreign students come here to study.

I have the opportunity to teach Vietnamese at a Buddhist temple to a group of young kids this year. Back then, when I just came to this country, I wasn't sure if we can come back to Vietnam again. If not, what good would knowing Vietnamese be? Learning English was much more important. Yet, now, I look at an increasing number of kids wanting to learn the mother language.

One good thing about the Vietnamese culture is they teach their kids to cherish and show respect for their teachers. Education is still a very important value for them. The community makes my job a lot easier. They go to class and they sit down and learn. In teaching Vietnamese, we also teach many of our 'wise' sayings from past ancestors. So, not only do they learn about Vietnamese, they also learn about our culture and our values. Aside from this, they get teaching from the Buddhist temple on being a good person and a good leader.

With all the chaos that currently exist in this world, I look at these kids and have hope for the future. Teach our young well. They are our future.


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