Teacher overcomes adversity to continue teaching vocation

May 23, 2023 - 07:12
Nhung, 48, is an ethnic Tày woman. She works at the Trần Phú Primary School in Lục Yên District, the northern mountainous province of Yên Bái.
Nông Thị Việt Nhung with her students. — VNA/VNS Photo Việt Dũng

Hồng Phúc & Hoàng Lan

YÊN BÁI — When she lost a leg due to illness, it seemed teacher Nông Thị Việt Nhung would have to leave school and leave behind her dreams.

But, not succumbing to fate, Nhung continued her passion, devoting herself to the education cause, the Quân đội Nhân dân (People's Army) newspaper reported.

Nhung, 48, is an ethnic Tày woman. She works at the Trần Phú Primary School in Lục Yên District, the northern mountainous province of Yên Bái.

Born and raised in Lục Yên District, where more than 53 per cent of the population are ethnic Tày group, seeing many students unable to attend school because of poverty, Nhung was determined to become a teacher.

“I want to contribute a small part to my homeland so that my children's lives are brighter and brighter," said Nhung.

After graduating from a school of education in 1995, the young Tày teacher with many ambitions and enthusiasms taught at the Tân Lĩnh Junior Secondary School in Lục Yên District.

“The day I received the decision to work at the school, I was so moved because I was able to fulfil the dream I had cherished for long,” she said.

Every day, regardless of the sun or rain, Nhung cycled from 6am to attend class on time.

“Many days when my car broke down, I had to walk home," she said. "On the way back, only high mountains covered a black shadow without people passing by. But I instilled the spirit of love and passion for teaching work.”

In 1997, Nhung moved to work at the Yên Thế Primary School No 1 (now Trần Phú Primary School).

Students and parents trust her because of her enthusiasm for teaching.

In 1999, the 24-year-old teacher was honoured to become the youngest member of the school to join the Party.

With the pride of a young Party member, Nhung is more aware of her responsibility than ever, determined to dedicate herself to the teaching cause she had chosen.

In 2000, Nhung's left leg started to hurt. Her knee swelled up, and it wasn't easy to walk.

Doctors informed her that she needed a bone transplant.

However, Nhung’s body did not accept the transplanted bone. Her family’s hope turned in vain when the wound was so severe.

The doctor advised amputating up to one-third of her thigh to walk on a prosthetic leg.

“All my dreams completely collapsed," she said. "I was angry with all people's encouragement.”

A 26-year-old teacher had many dreams and ambitions slip out of her grasp and she did not know how to continue. At the most beautiful age of her life, Nhung suffered from physical and mental pain every day. She became thinner and weighed less than 38kg.

But, from the K Hospital, where she was treated days after surgery that helped her find faith, started a new hope.

“Every patient who came to the K Hospital left a part of their body, even their life," said Nhung. "Some people lose their hands but are still optimistic, making a living and covering their own lives. They told me that losing a leg is happier than many people losing arms or eyes."

Nhung regained her spirit. The love and encouragement from her family catalysed Nhung’s confidence.

“I still remember returning to work for the first time," she said. "Everyone looked at me so differently. Some people regret it, some are curious, and some even want me to show the artificial leg to them. I felt very strong, determined to continue working,"

Overcoming pains, she diligently studied books and lesson plans. She quickly proved her ability with help and encouragement from family and colleagues.

She participated in a competition for excellent teachers in the 2004-05 school year.

She won the highest mark in the competition.

She had many initiatives applied in teaching math and the Vietnamese language to primary students in Yên Bái Province.

Nhung instructs her students in class. — VNA/VNS Photo Việt Dũng

With Nhung’s contribution and unremitting efforts, the Lục Yên District's Division of Education and Training entrusted her to foster excellent students.

In the 2003-04 and 2004-05 school years, she was awarded certificates of merit by the Lục Yên District's education division and the Yên Bái Province's Department of Education and Training (DoET) for outstanding achievements in fostering excellent students.

Nguyễn Xuân Quang, head of the Lục Yên District's education division, said: “Nhung is an important contributor to the professional tasks in the district and the province. Over the years, Nhung has greatly tried to overcome all difficulties to complete her assigned tasks. She has many initiatives and experiences for the primary curriculum.”

Principal of the Trần Phú Primary School Nguyễn Thị Kim Thanh said: “Nhung is a core teacher who is intellectual, creative and has a unique dedication to her professional work. She is at the forefront of all school activities.”

Nguyễn Viết Cường, a teacher at the Trần Phú Primary School, said: “Nhung is always willing to help colleagues with professional expertise. Her students' parents always trusted her, being a good example for colleagues to follow.”

In 2017, the then resident awarded Nhung the title of Excellent Teacher - the noble title of the education and training sector.

With such honour, she became one of the youngest excellent teachers in Yên Bái Province.

Two years later, she received a Certificate of Merit from the Prime Minister after her dedication to the education industry.

She was a typical delegate to the 10th National Patriotic Emulation Congress in 2020.

Maybe to others, it is a normal thing, but for Nhung, it was meaningful when people recognised and appreciated her efforts. Those recognitions have helped her continue firmly on the path she has chosen. — VNS