Teaching at ISHCMC American Academy in Vietnam

It’s hard to believe it’s already 6 weeks into the semester here, but the progress reports that are going out soon are a reality check to how long we’ve been in Vietnam.

My husband Duarte and I are teaching at ISHCMC American Academy, a secondary school located in An Phu ward in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 2. It’s a quiet, suburban area where a lot of expat families live. From the 6th floor or our school you can look down and see the surrounding residential compounds and villas with private inground swimming pools. You also see the Saigon River and the city skyline.

ISHCMC pool Vietnam

Pool at ISHCMC main campus

ISHCMC American Academy (known as AAVN for American Academy Vietnam) is in its first year as an American curriculum school. Previously it was known as City College Campus and offered IGCSE curriculum through A levels. AAVN is part of the Cognita network of schools, as is International School Ho Chi Minh City (ISHCMC), the IB school next door.

My classroom is sweet. There is a built-in projector that I use almost everyday – it saves a TON of writing and rewriting on the board. All the desks and chairs are pretty new and there are big windows that let in a good amount of light when it’s not cloudy. Thankfully, the English Department is on the second floor.

ISHCMC American Academy classroom

My classroom when I arrived

Here’s what I’m teaching this year:

– AP English Language & Composition / WRT105 Syracuse University Project Advance
– Grade 11 English (2 classes)
– Grade 7 English

Other things I’m doing:

– Serving as English Department Chair
– Serving as SUPA Coordinator (Syracuse University concurrent enrollment program)
– Starting a Literary Magazine and running a Poetry Cafe with one of my colleagues
– Organizing a pen pal project
– Designing an English Department website to feature student work

One huge benefit of being at a school in its first year is that the English Department was able to choose the books and resources we wanted, and all of our books for this year are brand new. My 7th graders are currently reading Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech, and I’m teaching a creative non-fiction unit to my 11th graders. Grade 12 AP is spending the first quarter on visual / rhetorical analysis with a focus on representation of global poverty.

So yes, these are the reasons why I have not been blogging so much! I’ve been spending a lot of time designing my AP curriculum, and of course in the evenings and on the weekends spending time exploring the city with my little G-man.

My grade 11 students are writing restaurant reviews for next week, so I’ll post the links to any good ones here to share with fellow travelers and expats.

3 Comments on “Teaching at ISHCMC American Academy in Vietnam

  1. Hi Heather! I just read your article about returning home on the Expat Women website. I’m returning home soon and suddenly became completely overwhelmed by even the thought it. I haven’t been home for nearly 2 years so I know it’s time for a visit but ahh! :-) Anyway, thanks for the suggestions.

    Can’t wait to hear more about life in Vietnam!

    • Thanks Joy! I think a lot of people can relate to that feeling when returning home.

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