On the way to work this morning, I realized the sky is becoming clearer, the clouds are showing their brightness and the dreamy silver color; autumn approaches. The new school year is almost upon us. Soon we return to the days of staying up extremely late at night creating lesson plans, planning homeroom activities, designing the materials and waking up earlier to join the students to discover their new knowledge and curiosity. It has been four years since I started the commitment with an international bilingual school in Hanoi, with great passion and challenges. Suddenly, one day, I realized that my ideas became so well-worn, and I was stuck in a rut. Several days passed. I understood that a change of mindset was not enough. What I needed was an environment which gave me a sense of belonging, of being loved and supported to grow further. I knew a change was required and I must improve.

So, I interviewed at True North School and was hired immediately.

True North School helps me understand that happiness is discovered by me and I did. Happiness is when I go online very late at night and see the entire team sharing the enormous workload after office hours, and I join them to help them reach their deadline early. There are days of hard work but there are also days of parties, hangouts and relaxation – a great work environment! I know that we contribute, and the leaders recognize this, providing encouraging words. The entire HR team shares and works together.

At True North School, I gradually realized more clearly the difference between “Real Leadership” and a “Fake Leader”. If a leader is truly talented, she or he will work more than the rest. Being a leader, she needs to be the first to take the challenge that others hesitate. It is the path of typical leaders. I now deeply understand that: The giant doesn’t step on others. He lets others stand on his shoulders. I’m so lucky to be surrounded by people whose roles are extremely important at TNS. My direct supervisor is the one of the oldest but she never stops learning. My colleagues are gifted and prestigious with great influence. Everybody has their own strengths, some are very unique. We “respect differences”. We build a strong team together in which we share the work with a supportive spirit.

I used to dream of a brand new workplace, I declined several attractive offers, I believed in the ‘right place at the right time’ element. It turns out that I saved my seeds to be planted in the right environment and that is True North School. I believe in the saying: Being stable is not staying forever, it is about being able to stay anywhere. At TNS, I am excited to wake up and go to work every Monday. A week flies by and we are fully energized and excited to join the “Happy Friday” of my direct manager. It is the day when everyone gathers for lunch. Sometimes we order food and have fun in the office; sometimes we go out to eat and chat about everything.

That’s how I spend days at TNS – no boredom.

And I know, there is something new coming, called “True North Culture”.

Thoughts of Ms. Nguyen Bich Nguyet – Lead Literature Teacher at True North School

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