Ella is an 8th grade student at a Vietnamese private bilingual school in Hanoi. She is 13. She wants to become a doctor "to help people in need". She is, however, struggling to adjust this year. As a teenager she is desperately trying to fit in. Being unable to do so, she is in great distress, feels like an outsider and her grades are deteriorating as a a result.

The problem is Ella is studying on a scholarship, a reward for high academic standard in her previous school. If she loses it, her parents will not be able to afford the kind of quality education she gets at a private bilingual school. Transition to teenage-hood is proving difficult for Ella: she lacks motivation to study and keep getting good grades. Since she is not following the program as closely as she should, she doesn't find it as interesting as she used to, which compounds her problem.


  1. Assessment. Teachers discuss Ella's recent academic performance.
  2. Team building. Since she is feeling a bit left out by the more affluent students, one should encourage group work in class, possibly pairing her up with the more affluent kids.
  3. Stress management. Teachers who know her from previous years could intercede with administration in order to postpone her funding evaluation. She suspects all is lost: knowing she will get a second chance might give her the motivation to try harder.
  4. Motivation. Ella is driven by a great and sincere desire to help others. This could be used in her behalf, perhaps assigning her as group or class leader.
  5. Motivation 2. Ella is a gifted student who finds the pace of the lessons a bit too slow. She is in a bit of a conundrum because she can't fit in and stand out at the same time. She could perhaps be given extra responsibilities in class: acting teaching assistant, for example, which would give her something more challenging to do and the need to learn the topics in more depth.
  6. Assessment 2. Teachers discuss Ella's recent academic performance and re-evaluate strategies as needed.