English and Life Lessons With Nguyen

Robinson welcomes a new English teacher and Department head.


Photo Juno Le

Nguyen explains the importance of good decision making to her students during her second period class.

Salma Boughdiri, Staff Writer

Xuan Mai Nguyen sat in her fourth-grade class watching her teacher give a lesson. And that’s when she knew she wanted to become a teacher herself.

“I had a really great fourth-grade teacher, and she said I wanted to be a teacher ever since I was in third grade. I was like OK, I’ll set up the same thing but in fourth-grade,” Nguyen said.

She also fell in love with Shakespeare thanks to her AP Literature teacher, which gave her more reason to pursue her dream of being a teacher.

Nguyen has been teaching for 25 years now, teaching students as young as third grade to college. This year, she continues to teach English and also fulfill her duties as department head. It might be a challenge, but Nguyen is learning as she goes.

“The thing I like most about Ms. Nguyen is that she is very organized, nice and cares very much about her students,” Gabrielle Sheikhet (‘22) said.

In class, Nguyen teaches her students about speaking, writing and reading. But she likes to think of it as her teaching life skills. She hopes what they take from her, they will use outside of her classroom in the future.

“Listening: I hope they listen to their classmates present. They will realize they need this in the future to listen to their bosses, coworkers or family members. Speaking: be more patient and flexible. What I teach sounds like it’s just for English, but my advice is it applies to life overall,” Nguyen said.

When grading students’ work, she takes into consideration those who work really hard. She assesses her students and values them as people.

Students also seem to respect and appreciate Nguyen’s teaching style. In order to get an A, you must work for it.

“I like that she grades honestly and gives feedback because it shows what I can improve on,” Gracelyn Wian (‘22) said.

“Overall teaching itself I like, other things like paperwork and duty, they all go with it. But the teaching itself I actually wake up like — Okay!— If I were to quit it’s not because of the teaching itself,” Nguyen said.