By Thuy Tran Thi, @TdGreenhouse
To begin my writing, I would like to express my preference for being a feminist. I want to inspire the kids especially girls in my poor rural area to be more. I was born to the poorest family in my village. My brother had to stop his schooling when I started my first year at school life. My parents tried their best to support me and made my dream of being an English teacher come true. I turned back home with the big surprise of my friends at university because I wanted to make my community better (for more information: bit.ly/Ilovemyschool).
In 2009, my school did not have any projectors and now there is no internet connection in the classroom. We are in short of many facilities, and I myself bought the internet wire to bring the internet to the classroom. Currently, I am using a Wifi transmitter to connect with other teachers or help my students to use ICT in the classroom. I did all those things and did not need the money back. I just want to create the environment in which my students can learn and interact.
From my point of view, transformation with teaching with SDGs means 3 keys: transforming yourself, transforming your students, and changing other teachers around you.
I started my journey with teaching the Sustainable Development Goals when I self–studied courses on the Microsoft Educator Community about the SDGs and Teaching Gender Equality via Skype. These courses totally opened my mind about how to help my children, especially girls, to be empowered. Moreover, I try to learn about the sustainable development goals from bit.ly/UnitedNations_SDGs and planned my lesson plans and activity to inspire my children to THINK BIG with these goals.
Developing Skills of Students
Teaching with Goal 5: Gender Equality
Then, my story continues with teaching our kids, raising them up, and making them change their mindset about their strengths and how to improve all our lives. On the 8th of March 2017, I found a different way to celebrate International Women’s Day with my students. I used Skype in the classroom to invite a South African girl who overcame her difficulties to achieve her goals when living in poor conditions. At the beginning of the sharing session, my schoolboys gave her a bunch of sunflowers and thanked her for being her with us. At that moment, all the members of my class realized the meaning of empowerment, the meaning of trying hard every day to make themselves better, to make our community better, and to make our world better.
I work hard every day to prove a simple thing to my students. I am a rural girl. My parents are poor farmers. I was given chance to work with different worldwide educators via Skype, become Skype Master Teacher, and be awarded by the Minister of Education and Training twice in an academic year for being the most outstanding educator. All I want is to give back to my village--to support them, guide them, and learn with them.
I worked with another English teacher,Mr. Tam, to help our children in the rural area by giving them free English classes. On 8th of March this year in 2018, we celebrated an ICT Day for Girls. We asked the students to present about the tools that they really want to utilize in their learning process and asked them if they had a chance to improve that tool, how could they make the needed changes. We were extremely surprised at the ways they delivered the presentations and how they answered the questions. Our normal presentation celebration often lasts about one hour, but this session lasted 2.5 hours, and I know for sure that they are changing, and they are making themselves better.
At the end of the celebration, I let them watch a video about the 4th Industrial Revolution and how to cope with the changing world--where we are now and how to make it better. And, I see from the bottom of their hearts that education
is the key. Gender equality is the key. And, the sustainable development goals are their future. See more at bit.ly/TeachGoal5
Teaching with Goal 4: Quality Education
In my school, some classrooms were built in 1986 – that is older than my age and we lack facilities for learning and internet connection to my classroom. The Microsoft courses enabled me to think differently and to help my children to learn and be more. By spending $88 a month from my own money, I was able to get a Wifi transmitter, I am now able to invite Guest Speakers/Experts to my classroom and can bring the world to my students. Their knowledge, skills, mindset, and especially their visions about future are most important. We are welcoming the 4th Industrial Revolution with Internet of Thing (IoT), machine learning, and big data, and I am certain that EDUCATION is the key to change the world--to prepare for our future and make it a better place. I even created a lesson plan to bring free English tips to the children all around the world and hope to help them to learn and change their mindsets and help them. See more at bit.ly/TeachGoal4
Supporting Other Educators
I was recognized as Skype Master Teacher in 2017 among 155 worldwide educators, and I continue my journey to train other educators in my country and all around the world and use Sustainable Development Goals to help them to connect and demonstrate a sample lesson. I connected with a teacher in middle school and shared the screen to let them discovered the 17 Sustainable Developments Goals. The teachers and students there were super excited to learn and take their action plans for their own future.
My Plan for Teaching SDGs
To me, 17 Sustainable Development Goals are our future, and I, with my students, their parents, and other teachers, will make it come true from now forward. Our students have mastered Skype, Kahoot!, and Flipgrid, and of course we are going to travel all around the world via ICT tools to change our mindsets and take actions. My vision for my own future teaching job is 17 Sustainable Development Skills will be the content of our 2030 class. I am trying every day with you to make a better world, and I can be a happy teacher forever.
Tran Thi Thuy teaches English in Viet Nam. She is a MIE Expert, MIE Master Trainer, innovative educator, SMT, participant of Education Exchange 2017, and was named the Most Outstanding Teacher of the Year. You can learn more about Tran and her work at @TdGreenhouse on Twitter.