Ms Vuong is a qualified high-school physics teacher who has been working with us since 2013. Vuong had been teaching mainstream in a different part of Vietnam, when she and her husband decided to return to the central region of Vietnam where they were from, with their young son, and resume their lives there. She had assumed that she would easily get a job teaching in a new mainstream school in the area but having lost many contacts and connections when she moved away, found this to be more difficult than anticipated. When she saw a position advertised for a teaching assistant with the Kianh Foundation, she applied for that. By her own admission, she had no particular interest in children with disability at that point, and simply needed a job. "I did not think it was possible to teach children with a disability," she said.
Despite her scepticism, the longer Vuong worked at the Kianh Foundation School, the more her mind began to change. She saw that the many children at the school, who had a wide variety of abilities and disabilities and challenges, and were of varying ages, where making progress. Sometimes it would be slow and steady; sometimes quick and unexpected, after periods where nothing seemed to be happening on the surface. She was excited by this and began to participate more actively in the professional training she received and to speak to her fellow teachers at the school about different approaches to teaching the children. Her real breakthrough came when she applied all that she was learning and found that she was able to significantly impact the challenging behaviour of a young boy with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the school and was able to support him to manage his world in a more practical and congenial way. After this, she never looked back and now says that she would not want to teach anywhere else, because the Kianh Foundation School is a place where you can learn to bring about real change for children. Today, Vuong is the lead teacher in our adapted mainstream class and an active member of our staff training team.