It was such a surprise seeing 5 other parents were already at class 5A15 when I arrived 15 minutes early at Vinschool elementary school. Just 5 minutes later, we parents have grown to over ten. We had all happily got our work in order to “come to class” on time. Within an hour being class’s 5A15 student with the children, I felt genuinely delighted and excited with Ms. Mai’s lessons. It was a class full of joy, enthusiasm, surprise and creativity. A vivid class filled with vibrant colors.
– Daddy, do you want to be a 5th grader?
Mit, my eldest daughter suddenly asked me on the way home from school.
– Of course. Who’s smarter than a 5th grader? I wish I were a 5th grader in Vinschool.
– Then your wish can come true. I would like to invite you to my class’s storytelling of “The Champion” this Thursday.
– I have work that day… but I can move it to Friday, so I can be a 5th grader with my Mit!
– Yes. Thursday it is! Be on time daddy.
It was the color of wonder right from the start: “Getting to know each other”. Ms. Mai introduced us as new students and divided us into 6 groups to take part in the lesson with the children. Only by studying with the children did we realize how smart, creative and proactive they are, much better than us when we were young.
It was the color of enthusiasm when the teacher engaged all students and parents in the lesson, involving every participant in lively group discussions. Under the group leader’s instruction, we each got to voice their opinions. Undoubtedly, we – as new students – did not simply sit and listen but also got to practice with the 5W1H tool set (What, When, Where, Why, Who, How), asking the right questions to better understand the content and meaning of the story.
It was the color of surprise when both children and parents could not foresee how the class would go. But the teacher was always in control and guided us perfectly. It seems the whole class had successfully put students at its center, with excellent interactions.
It was the color of creativity, when both students and parents enthusiastically created the most interesting and creative story in their own way. After listening to the story, the groups took turn acting the stories out. The audience roared with laughter and praised the performers with rounds of applause. After which we were allowed to write a new ending to the story.
And most of all, it was the color of joy when everyone felt they were part of the stories. The children were well-versed in the art of “impossible solutions” and completed the new ending for the story in record time. To be honest, it took us adults a few minutes of “pen-biting” before ideas came to us.
I really liked how the lesson was developed, and I believe, it was not only me but all the students and parents who took part in the lesson also felt the same. I could see it in the many raised hands, the enthusiastic discussions and the eyes that shone brightly full of happiness. Thank you, teacher, and our children for giving us parents an hour “back to our childhood”. I hope there will be many more chances to sit on tip-toe in class like today!
Mr. Duc Pham – father of Phạm Ngọc Minh Anh, class 5A15 of Vinschool Elementary school