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[Vietnamese Women’s Day 20/10] – For you – “U Trà”, the gentle mother of the French Class

Post by: trangtrang | 30/10/2014 | 2897 reads

No one knows for sure when the term “U Trà” initially existed but she has been called like that since the first moment entering the class. Why is she called “U” but not “Mẹ” though both of the terms mean “Mother” in Vietnamese language? I have always attempted to seek the answer but never succeeded in finding the correct one. Nevertheless, I am assured that there is always a good reason for my friends calling her “U Trà”. This is because for my feelings and impressions personally, Ms. Trà has always been a gentle teacher, like a gentle breeze of the French Class in general and of 12 French 2 (12-15) in particular

She came to us amidst our first 3 chaotic months in high school. It was the time we all referred to as “The Time of Chaos” and it was indeed turmoil. Among our messy studying, she audaciously chose to teach our class, not any others. As French is a language that few students and few teachers pursue, most of the students in French Class had known her, some had even had a chance to be taught by her before. All of us shared the same impression that she was indeed a very gentle and thoughtful teacher. On hearing the tiding, instead of being joyful like the others, I was actually a bit worried on the grounds that with such kindness and lighthearted manners, would she be able to manage 46 individuals of our class? Would our playfulness annoy her? But almost immediately after the concern, thinking about the success of the method of using softness instead of strictness, I was promptly full of belief in her.

And that day came – the day Ms. Trà entered Class 12 French 2 of 2012 – 2015 among the great enthusiasm and welcome of some but curiosity and doubt of others. Personally, my first long-lasting impression on her was her broad grin. So bright is her smile – so bright that it seems to bring along the proximity between her and the students. It is the smile of confidence, encouragement and confirmation that regardless of all hardship, she will always be with her students to seek solutions and overcome together.

Our second impression was her amazing fashion style, which seems to be irrelevant to education. However, at a Foreign Language class, especially that of French – the language of beauty, elegance, the language of France with Paris – the extravagant Fashion Realm, her fashion style is actually very inspirational to us. Days after days, she always chooses for herself the smart European style with matching bracelets, necklaces and shoes.

Besides her outward first impressions, we were then amazed by her gentle personalities. For a teacher belonging to the 70s, she is relatively youthful and thoughtful and especially kind. Her kindness lingers through her eyes, her voice and her style. It is quite surprising that there is such a gentle teacher here in high school.

In our first class, we were taught just like we had been in secondary school: very comfortable, close and joyful. Things were thought to be smooth but it turned out to be very challenging as approaching high school students, especially those in my class – the one that possesses the highest number of students at school, has never been an easy task. The shift in thinking patterns and perception of once secondary students but now high school ones has also caused a number of challenges. Despite all the hardship, with the enthusiasm of a teacher, she always seeks new and different teaching methods and ways to connect us to improve the relationship between students and teachers and above all, to enhance practice using foreign language. Being aware that there are many students who are still “dormant” and introvert, she has prudently complemented activities with learning materials. This might be exclusive to the French Class, where learning and having fun are incorporated in all interesting activities. For the first time in our life, we were able to make movies in groups, make Music Videos in French and make presentations about our masterpieces and the best part was that everyone would be playing different roles like director, playwright, cameraman and actors. Though the masterpieces might not be perfect, smooth or logical, Ms. Trà always encouraged us by giving us good marks as motivation for next effort because to her, it is not about judging the book by its cover but when it comes to assessing a product, it is important to consider attempt and serious engagement in the project.

We will never forget the listening drills through watching famous French movies (and of course, no subtitles available), the culinary presentations (in which each team had to make a presentation about the food prepared), the vocabulary drills, writing drills and learning how to accumulate information to create French documents and books. Through all those activities, those gifts, not only did we learn and practice language skills, we also learnt how to work as a team, how to share and unite as well as how to speak in public. Those are the memorable and valuable activities and moments of high school that I cannot forget.

Ms Tra (left) in the French drama with French class

Although she has been dedicated fully to us, at times, our excessive naughtiness and ignorance had upset her. When she faced a lot of challenges, we were at times so heartless as to disregard the pressure that she was enduring and even disappointed her further. In the zephyr of time, she was thought to enter a hiatus of her teaching career to care for her health. However, with her great love for French and the dedication to her career, she overcame everything, including her illnesses to continue teaching and exploring the beauty of language of the French.

Now, I, on behalf of Class French 2 of 2012-2015 would like to wish you the best on the occasion of 20.10. We wish you health, joy and happiness so as to continue teaching and guiding many French Class generations to come. We would like to thank you for your affection towards us, for all of the things you have done for us. Also, we would like to apologize for our thoughtless actions, for making you upset. No matter what happens, we still love you so much.

“You once told your daughter that this time last year, you were listening to a poem written by members of Class French 2 of 2012 – 2015. This year, though we cannot write for you any longer, nor can we reiterate a poem for you, we would like to give you another poem to show our feelings towards you…”


Tháng chín đầu thu mây la đà

Vào thời khắc ấy đã sinh ra

Một người mang tên loài hoa trắng

Chắng phải ai khác, chính cô Trà.


Có nhiều lúc em tự hỏi mình

Điều gì khiến bông hoa rung rinh

Trước nụ cười hiền, đôi mắt ấy

Tựa như một vì sao lung linh.


Kỉ niệm xưa đã mãi xa rồi

Đâu ai cản được thời gian trôi

Chúc cô luôn vui vẻ hạnh phúc

Mãi nở nụ cười thắm đôi môi."

We wish you health, success and a glamarous smile

Author: Hà Trang P2 1215

Translator: Tan Phat A1 1316

Tags: 20/10