KON TUM — Over the past 12 years despite many challenges and little time to see her own family, teacher Nguyễn Thị Hoài Sâm has brought warmth to students in Tu Mơ Rông mountainous district, the coldest and remotest district of Kon Tum Province.
The 37-year-old teacher was born and raised in Đăk La Commune, Đăk Hà District, and has dreamed of becoming a teacher from when she was in 6th grade.
At that time, she did not understand much about the noble teaching profession, but loved her literature teacher and wanted to be just like her. It was an image of a teacher with elegant clothes, a wide-brimmed hat and riding a mini bicycle. It was simple and beautiful, and greatly attracted Sâm.
After many years of study, Sâm’s dream has become a reality. After graduating from college, she was assigned to work in Tu Mơ Rông District, about 70km from her home.
It is a disadvantaged area that she visited during her “green summer” volunteer campaign in 2006, where she experienced muddy and slippery roads that could not even be accessed by motorbike.
After taking part in the campaign for a month, Sâm was assigned to teach at a school in Tê Xăng Commune, about 25km from the district centre.
In the rainy season, the weather was very cold, causing many difficulties for locals. In 2006, typhoon No 9 hit the province.
“At that time, my colleagues and I went out to buy food. But the road we travelled on every week had gone. It was filled with mud, big rocks and trees. Looking around the village, many houses were submerged in water,” Sâm told Giáo dục & Thời đại (Education & Times) newspaper.
“Heavy rain flooded the roads, isolating villages in the commune. In our commune, vehicles could not move. That image is imprinted in my mind every time the stormy season comes.”
But the problems did not dampen her enthusiasm for her students. The strong motivation to help them overcome the difficulties came not just from a love of teaching, but also from her own family: a young daughter and her parents.
She has to leave her child at home with her parents due to working away from home so often. Sâm only sees her family on weekends, and cries every time she hears her child’s voice on the phone.
But Sâm said such difficulties were nothing compared to the troubles her students had to face.
They have to go to school from 5am and travel on a small path on a rocky hillside. Just a few years ago, the villagers lived without electricity and roads.
Teachers sent here are required to have good health. They have to climb mountains and walk in the moonlight to visit each house to encourage students to go to school.
Sâm said that she understood their difficulties, which strengthened her resolve to help.
At present, she works at a secondary-high school in Ngọc Lây Commune, an area with drizzle and cold wind all year round.
To ensure the health and safety of students in remote villages, the school provides meals and dorms for them. At night, teachers guide the students to study.
During the pandemic, most students in Tu Mơ Rông and Ngọc Lây did not have the tools to study online, so the school sent teachers to each village to maintain an education for the students, who are divided into groups of 10.
To do good pandemic prevention work, teachers go to each family to give guidance on the Ministry of Health’s 5K message: facemasks, disinfection, social-distancing, no gathering, and making health declarations.
After almost 12 years working as a teacher, Sâm is still passionate about her job.
“My literature teacher lit up my dream and inspired enthusiasm in me. I hope I will be the one who ‘lights a fire’ in my daughter and the generations of students that I have been teaching and will be teaching in the future,” Sâm said. — VnExpress News
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