English Teaching Jobs Abroad Reward in Surprising Ways
English teaching jobs abroad can reward in surprising ways. Teachers and ESL teachers are respected here in Vietnam which became even more obvious to me when our university celebrated Teachers Day which is an annual event. It is yet another highlight to experience while enjoying a life teaching overseas.
Our English classes were cancelled (at short notice) and we were told there was to be a presentation at 3 o’clock. At the appointed time, we were transported a few kilometers, across the wide open spaces near the university to the venue. We had little idea of what was expected or to expect!
I was surprised when we walked in the door to see the tables laid with crisp white table cloths, polished glasses lined up and gorgeous flowers.
We were met at the door and welcomed by one of the young ladies from the office in her gorgeous white ao dai (the national dress) emblazoned with sequined flowers cascading down the front panel. It was obvious this was to be no usual presentation.
This was National Teacher’s Day Vietnam style. All the teachers including those teaching ESL were seated, entertained and served a divine seven course meal which was accompanied by red wine, beer and soft drinks.
We were entertained
The entertainment was a four-girl band who were dressed rather seductively in leather hot pants, above the knee dark brown suede lace up boots and a white shirt open to the cleavage along with a cute jacket nipped in at the waist. They sung a number of songs (in Vietnamese) while performing seductive well choreographed routines.
I sat next to one of the lovely young ladies from the office. She was shaking her head muttering “tut tut” and “they’re hot girls” followed by more disapproving tut tuts.
At one stage I wondered why we were the only table clapping at the end of one of their songs. Of course we were being polite as we had no idea of what they were singing. Now, I wonder what the songs were about to stop the other guests who numbered about 70 clapping.
It turns out that the entertainment for Teachers Day is usually very conservative and the man organizing it had asked for something more exciting to be booked. Somehow this got lost in translation and this girl band was hired which was not really appropriate for the image they wanted to present to us. The men on the staff thought it was excellent!
Years later he still visits his childhood teacher
The head of the multi billion dollar company behind the university, was there and made a fuss of us too.
He told me (through an interpreter) that he still visits his childhood teachers every year to pay his respects. He takes gifts and flowers.
Several hours later, after the usual karaoke performances and too many toasts to count, we were put in our air conditioned chauffeur driven car and taken back to the hotel.
It was rather bizarre but extremely special to be honored in such a way. This is another event as and ESL teacher that I’ll store in the memory banks for sure.
Every day is different
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