Vietnamese Teacher’s Day- have you heard of it?

Vietnamese Teacher’s Day

In Vietnam, the teacher’s day falls on the 20th of November, this day allows students to show respect and gratitude’s to their teachers. Since teaching is a noble profession, Vietnamese Teacher’s Day is a big day not only for teachers but also for all society.

In Asian culture, we have an idiom “Một chữ cũng là thầy, nửa chữ cũng là thầy”, it literally means if someone teaches you even a word or a half word, you have to see them as your teacher. It shows how important teachers are and how much we need to appreciate them. Not only the students who are in schools, all people send wishes to their old teachers to show their respects to the people who gave them knowledge and many life lessons.

In honor of said near approaching day, follow us through this article to find out what makes this day special.

Vietnamese Teacher’s Day

Vietnamese Teacher’s Day

Vietnamese Teachers’ Day origin

In January 1946, an organization dedicated solely for educational employments called FISE (Féderation International Syndicale des Enseignants) was established in Paris, France.
In 1949, at Vacsava international conference, the FISE organization officially announced a charter regarding teachers and educational employees that included 15 chapters in total.

The charter’s content mainly revolved around the fight between modern education systems against its bourgeois and feudal counterpart; protecting the legitimate substantial and mental rights of everyone involved in the educational field.

From the 26th to 30th of August 1957, FISE had 57 countries in total participations, including Vietnam. In the end, Vietnam decided to choose November 20th annually as its Teachers’ Day.

On November 20th 1982, the first nationwide celebration was grandly held in Vietnam. From that day on, the particular 20th has become one of the most traditional and important days for the country education sector, honoring every single individual that has contributed to the development of said sector and their achievements to grow the new future, their students.

How Vietnamese students and teachers celebrate Teacher’s Day.

Instead of having classes, the whole teachers and students in Vietnam have a day off to attend an annual meeting to celebrate the teacher’s day. In the meeting, the teachers usually give speeches about the importance of education in the development of the country to encourage the students to study harder and become a great person. There are also some performances from the students during the meeting, this is a great opportunity for them to show their talents and make the meeting more interesting.

The students show their love to their teachers by saying how much they appreciate the teacher’s work to give them knowledge and also teaching them how to become a good person. They give their teachers flowers and gifts as a thank you. There is a tradition on this day, people go visit their teachers so the teachers are quite busy when they have a lot of students through many generations coming to express their gratitude’s to the one who guided them on their education path.

The teachers also get a lot of care from the parents and the government. If the children are in kindergartens or primary schools and don’t know how to express their feelings, their parents will do the job. They bring the kids to the teacher’s house with flowers and presents. Since Vietnamese people are told to respect their teachers since they are kids so this spirit is maintained from generations to generations. The government spends most of the time on the national TV channel for television reportages and documentary shows to honor the teaching career in general and also the importance of being a teacher.

A students' performance on the Teacher’s Day

A students’ performance on the Teacher’s Day

The Teacher’s day of foreign teachers in Vietnam.

Are you wondering if foreign teachers who are currently teaching in Vietnam are honored on this day? The answer is “Yes”. They will get blessings and gifts from the students, the parents and the schools where they are teaching just like other Vietnamese teachers. They will feel all the love and respect from Vietnamese people.

Someone is even so surprised by what happens in the Vietnamese national teacher’s day as it is not a traditional holiday in their home country.
“I heard about Teachers’ Day when I came to Vietnam, and it was a surprise to me because we don’t have anything like that in Australia,” a lecturer who engaged in four Teachers’ Day celebrations in Vietnam told Vietnam Insider.
“I think it’s great and wonderful that the students are doing all this for the teachers, recognizing the teachers. It’s always nice to see so much effort from our students. I think all the teachers look forward to this day,” asserted Melvin Fernando, a foreign lecturer who has lived in Vietnam for nearly ten years.

A Filipino teacher with her student and his mother on the Teacher's Day

A Filipino teacher with her student and his mother on the Teacher’s Day

Someone shows their feelings about this day, how proud and meaningful for them to be a teacher, how well their students treat her on this day.
“For Vietnam to have their own National Teachers’ Day means that they really value the sacrifices and efforts of educators and that they acknowledge the significant role that teachers play in nation-building.
As a foreigner working as a teacher in Vietnam, this means a lot to me as well. Anticipating the day has given me some time to evaluate myself as a teacher. When the greetings and the appreciation come pouring in, I can’t help but make some time for self-reflection and review my life as a teacher. It helps me rebuild myself and motivates me to become a better teacher.
I am a person that is very easy to please so I often tell my students to avoid grand gestures. My adult students would usually give me flowers or treat me in a coffee shop. Small bag accessories are also usual gifts I receive. However, when it comes to my students’ parents, I cannot really control how they show their appreciation. I have received bags, perfumes, ceramics and other useful things from the parents. It’s quite overwhelming, to be honest. As much as we appreciate this day, there are more pressing issues that need to be addressed in the whole educational system of the country.
I hope that the government will consider other measures to show appreciation to the Vietnamese teachers like higher salary and more laws for their protection. That’s my only prayer for Teachers’ Day”. The feeling of Rowena D Law-agey, a Filipino teacher living in Vietnam for more than 2 years.

Rowena's feeling about Vietnamese Teacher's Day

Rowena’s feeling about Vietnamese Teacher’s Day

In general, the 20th of November in Vietnam has become the day that all attention will be spent for teachers. Although being a teacher sometimes can be really difficult but because of having this day, they will feel very proud to be a teacher and encourage young talented people to choose teaching careers in the future and contribute their knowledge to the development of the nation’s education.
We want to say thank you to all teachers currently teaching in Vietnam and wish you to have a wonderful teacher’s day with your students and we hope that you will keep your dedication with the teaching career to guide the younger generation on the education path.

Author: Khoa Phạm

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