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[Vietnamese Teachers' Day -20/11] MEETING AMSERS THOSE DAYS - TODAY Mrs Dang Nguyet Anh: “Love Ams in your own way!”

Post by: trangtrang | 30/11/2014 | 4942 reads

As an Amser majored in Literature of session 1, Mrs Dang Nguyet Anh, who is famous for a number of “strange literature exam topics”, has always witnessed changes  and developments of the beloved school named Hanoi – Amsterdam for the past 30 years. Now, let’s have a conversation with Mrs Nguyet Anh to have a deeper understanding of Ams after 30 years of forming and flourishing!


Mrs Nguyet Anh on the ceremony marking the beginning of school year 2014 – 2015


Can you share with us some of your deepest impressions about your 3 years at Hanoi – Amsterdam as an Amser of our school’s 1st session?


I was lucky enough to be one of the first students to attend Hanoi – Amsterdam High School for the Gifted for the whole 3 years after its foundation. My deepest impression is about how this school has changed and perfected itself day by day. I remember exactly my feelings on the first day I entered Hanoi – Amsterdam High School for the Gifted on Nam Cao Street. On those days, our school was very large and included contemporary Giang Vo Secondary School. Schoolyard was not paved with flagstones, generators kept emitting loud sounds all day and classrooms were not entirely completed. My teachers were also very modest back then. They travelled to school on old bicycles and wore old clothes. In our view, our homeroom teacher had to be imposing with a pair of glasses and a bald head just like a professor or the writer Nguyen Tuan. But in the end our teacher turned out to be a man with a small and thin figure together with a brown complexion; on his first day he met our class, he wore a modest T-shirt, old military trousers and a pair of plastic slippers. That was my first and deepest impression during my 3 years as a student of session 1 at Hanoi – Amsterdam High School.


Mrs Nguyet Anh and her homeroom teacher – Mr Vu Xuan Tuc

Mrs Nguyet Anh and her friend on their graduation day 19.05.1998


Do you have any comments on Ams of today and Ams of 30 years ago?


While there are still a number of differences,  Ams of today and Ams of 30 years ago have a lot in common. Firstly, this school is still a place of excellent teachers and outstanding students; it is still a place of many parents who love their children, respect their children’s future and enthusiastically devote themselves to our city’s educational work. Secondly, Ams in the past as well as Ams of today is one of the most well-conditioned schools of Hanoi. However, Ams after 30 years has a number of changes. In terms of facilities, while Ams in the past was located on Nam Cao Street, Ba Dinh District, nowadays it has been moved to Hoang Minh Giam Street, Cau Giay District. Nowadays our school has been extended a great deal and become one of the most enormous schools of our country and our region. In comparison to those of 30 years ago, the number of students is higher and majors are more diverse in greater numbers. Therefore, students nowadays seem to be not as “tameable” as we used to be 30 years ago. At present, our school is not only a place of the gifted in Hanoi but also a place of gathered talented students all over the country. Although it is an acclaimed change, sometimes I ask myself, in such a varied environment, is Hanoi quality still immense?


Teachers and friends  then became colleagues


Throughout 30 years, which changes of Ams make you regret the most?


In comparison, Ams of today has changed a lot from Ams of 30 years ago. There are changes that give us a lot of excitement, but there are still some changes that make us regret, and one of which is the relocation of our school. If only our school were still on that land but renewed and modernized, students of the first sessions like us would be more excited. Now when we come to visit our old school, we have to visit Nguyen Trai High School. However, this is regrettable but not saddening because our school is now a lot more well-conditioned and modern, and the remaining land at the old location perhaps is not enough for a school to be built like the dream of our school leaders and generations of students. Therefore, the relocation of our school is understandable, but we still wish that maybe after 20 or 30 years Ams will be returned to the old location and located on the land will be a more beautiful and mordern school.


After graduation, there were a lot of open doors for you but you made a decision to return to Ams and become a teacher. Can you share with us the reason for this decision?


I was one of a few students of University of Pedagogy who were assigned work right after graduation. I still remember that the official correspondance stating my allocation to Nguyen Dinh Chieu High School was signed on 11.09.1991. I had worked in Nguyen Dinh Chieu High School for 9 years before I decided to return to Hanoi – Ams and continued my teaching career in the school I had studied in. First, I wanted to return and teach in the school that I had grown up from; I felt that Ams was a more suitable environment and a better launch for me to devote myself to our city’s educational work.What is more, when I started my own family it was quite a long way from my home to Nguyen Dinh Chieu High School. Additionally, in Nguyen Dinh Chieu High School, the work of fostering excellent students was not the top priority. Since I grew up from an environment of specialized training, I wanted to test and contribute myself to a more challenging environment that put much emphasis on the training of students with high academic ability.



Mrs Nguyet Anh in her first years of teaching in Hanoi – Amsterdam High School for the Gifted

In your opinion, is the work of connecting generations of Amsers good enough and is there any way to improve it?

Recently, our school has paid a lot of attention to the work of strengthening the bonds between generations of students. In the ceremonies marking the beginning of new school years, school administrators have invited students of the 1st session to attend and have some speeches to encourage younger Amsers. This has created a cozy relationship between Ams’ generations; this is also a pride to Ams’ ex-students since many of them at my age have children who have also graduated from this school, which means that both parents and children are ex-Amsers. There is no greater happiness than when they come back to visit their old school and see that  their children are also a part of this school’s community and continue to follow traditions of learning as well as discipline training and lively activities of the school.


Mrs Nguyet Anh and her friends of session 1 joining Ams’ ceremony marking the beginning of a new school year

I feel that the connection between generations is now being strengthened quite well, but this can be done even better. I think that there should not be only 1 or 2 times ex-Amsers give speeches at cermonies, but it is better that the homeroom teacher invites students’ parents who were once Amsers to come and have small talks or even join the class on some fieldtrips and play some quiz games related to Ams. The school in general can also have some albums of photos or some video clips marking the maturity of students of different ages or acclaiming families that have different generations of Amsers. That will be not only the strengthening of connection but also a great encouragement, since in only a few years to come there will be some families with up to 3 generations of Amsers. I also hope to receive help from both ex-students and current students of our school so that Amsers will be more closely intertwined and continue our school’s 30 years of invaluable traditions.



Both Mrs Nguyet Anh’s son and daughter are Amsers


Do you have anything to tell Amsers of young generations?


There is one thing I want to tell Hanoi – Amsterdam High School’s young generations: Our school has gone through 30 years of growing up with the support and contribution of various generations of teachers and students. Fortunately, our school could keep the name Hanoi – Amsterdam; not only does this name represent the friendship between two cities of two countries but it has also become flesh and blood of students who have grown up from here. Therefore, you  youngsters, never forget that along with the pride you have the responsibility to follow and maintain those valuable traditons. Love Ams in your own way! Let’s make our school famous not only in our country but also all over the world so that more and more people will know about our beloved school. Do you believe that you can completely turn our Ams into Harvard of Vietnam? It depends mainly on you.We as teachers together with you guys will strive for the best to make Ams stronger more beautiful day by day.


Reporter: Phuong Linh (Lit 14-17)

Translator: Mai Anh (Eng 13-16)

Photo source: Facebook Nguyet Anh Dang


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