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An interview with Ms Lan, BVIS Environmental Ambassador

Lan joined BIS in 2002 and worked with children aged 4-11, delivering the Vietnamese curriculum. During this time she gained first-hand experience of a variety of teaching methods and styles, which she was able to put into practice during her PGCE training year. To attend the course, Lan had to study extremely hard, reading books and articles in English and writing challenging assignments, while carrying out her full time teaching duties at BIS.

In 2011, Lan transferred to BVIS as soon as the school opened, because she felt very passionately about the concept and wanted to be part of the school’s success story. She has been working with Year 4 children since, planning engaging bilingual curriculum and effectively delivering it to the Primary children at BVIS. Being a very committed and dedicated member of the BVIS team, Lan is also actively involved in many extra-curricular club, events, and other exciting initiatives of the school.

Lan states that she feels extraordinary privileged to be working for such a professional and unique school. At BVIS, she not only continuously strives to broaden her academic knowledge, learning from colleagues and also from her students, but also proactively seeks to increase her awareness of environmental issues and global goals. Lan strongly believes in the value of being a life-long learner, and is keen to help her students to achieve better academic results and to guide them on how to be global citizens while remembering the traditions, language, and culture of their homeland.

It is these goals that led Lan to apply to join an expedition to Antarctica led by Sir Robert Swan when the project was conceived and announced by the school. She is now training hard to prepare herself for physical and mental challenges of the expedition. Lan is looking forward to acquiring valuable insights on how the school and its wider community can protect the environment to ensure that Vietnam is still a beautiful and safe place to live in fifty years from now. The project is a significant and a life-changing initiative taken by the school, and Lan is going to be the school’s ambassador for promoting environmental awareness in Vietnam. A great mission will be accomplished for the Vietnamese people by an exceptional Vietnamese woman.

Since being selected a week ago, Lan’s life changed forever: She joined the gym, underwent a makeover, is preparing to travel to Hanoi to obtain a visa for Argentina where the expedition is due to kick off in March, met with media representatives, and has been doing some intensive research on environmental issues particularly relevant to Vietnam. Not to mention becoming the most popular member of BVIS team, and applying for her first passport so that she can undertake her first ever trip outside Vietnam in March!

Here, our Year 9 student Ben asks Lan a number of questions to find out more about how she feels about this exciting project.

 1) What did you do to prepare for your application interview?

I looked and searched for the right video clips that I had watched years ago with regard to Global Warming and ice melting in the Arctic regions; read books about Global Warming, its impact on the Earth and on our lives; I researched climate change and its impacts on Vietnam; and I also researched previous expeditions to Antarctica carried out by a group of Vietnamese.

2) How did you feel when you first found out that you had been selected?
Firstly, I was surprised, as there were other very strong potential candidates, and then I was overjoyed as it was a well-deserved result for all the hard work I had put in. I was thankful to those who encouraged and believed in me, and anxious as I am going to be the BVIS Environmental Ambassador now, representing the school externally, which is a very responsible role. I will need to demonstrate a full commitment to raising the awareness of Vietnamese people, and in particular of children – the next generation – about climate change and that we must act promptly to preserve the planet, especially our beautiful country Vietnam.

3) Now that you have had time to gather your thoughts, can you describe your feelings about the upcoming trip?
I am excited as it will be a great chance to join a very international expedition and meet other people passionate about preserving environment from over the world, – people with different personalities, cultures and languages. I am thrilled because this experience will help me to develop skills I will need to work with others on behalf of BVIS to achieve a significant change, such as leadership and presenting skills.

4) What experiences do you expect to gain from the trip?
I hope to improve my stamina, proving that I can cope with hardship; work collaboratively with others in my team; and gain more precious skills that are really helpful for me as a teacher and as a BVIS ambassador, so that I can inspire others to join this amazing initiative. I will be witnessing the real damage that Antarctica has suffered as a result of people’s carelessness and our conscious and unconscious actions, and gaining a better insight into how BVIS and its wider community can protect the environment to ensure that Vietnam is still a beautiful and safe place to live in fifty years from now.

5) How do you think this experience will affect BVIS, and Vietnam?
It will show that at BVIS we care about academic attainments and progress, but also about much more than just that, and this is the reason I am proud to be working here. I believe that we have the responsibility to guide our students on how to become global citizens, while remembering and respecting the traditions, language, and culture of their homeland. Global warming and its impact are no longer remote from Vietnam – it is already affecting the country, significantly and visibly. This expedition will hopefully draw lots of attention from the wider community in Vietnam to these environmental issues, and inspire people to take action.

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