TEACHING ENGLISH IN CAMBODIA

When I was young, I really wanted to be a teacher. At early age I do appreciate already the legacy my teachers leaving and the impact they were making. Those were the reasons why I wanted to pursue on becoming like them.

It is such a big opportunity to be a second parent of some children that you barely know at first. A wonderful privilege to train up a child in the way they should go so that when they are old they will not depart from the good thing or manners that you have taught them. Nowadays kids are becoming really techie and the way they learn is modern. Modern I meant their way of learning isn’t really proper. They don’t start from the basic ones; instead they discover something that they shouldn’t know at a young age. They would just pick and click then stick to brick (something blocked), because of this generation I got motivated to continue what I have dreamed before. I was driven by seeing kids learning how to read and write, witnessing students comprehend some complicated situations and knowing that some of them understands and applies important principles in life.

While working at the office I never really imagined that I would be given an opportunity to help the ministry in another country. Although I had this traumatic event in my life about going out of the country I continued to believe that what He has told me beforehand will happen. I stayed two months in Cambodia mainly to do some training, help a school, and minister in a church. While staying, I had this moment which I consider an unforgettable one and a must share.

In school I teach from Monday to Friday, 7:30am-4:30pm, on the first day of teaching I was really, really excited because I am going to meet sweet Khmer students.

Meanwhile there is this student that stands out in the class. He is a seven-year old hard working boy. You can see his diligence in learning. That moment when you ask your class to read some words in chorus then you will notice that he’s faking it because he can’t read but at the very least he would still do it because he really wants to learn. He is also a helpful one, after the class he would help his classmates fix their chairs and he would also help get the remote and turn off the air-conditioner without someone telling him to do it, and the best part was that he would come to me to hug and to say goodbye before he goes home.

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Knowing that he can’t read English words, it made me challenged. Almost every single day of my stay I would always give a time to teach him one on one. It took almost two weeks of me teaching him and of my patience being tested. Whenever I ask him to read, he would just remember the sound of the letters but still can’t put it altogether. So I had to learn their language enable for me to explain the process of combining sounds. Days gone by and I praise God because I have seen the progress little by little.

Then one day during our class when it’s time for me to teach him one on one, I asked him to take out his book that we were using, turned the pages where the list of words to read are written, started instructing him to sound out the letters of the first word. He started sounding it out repetitively then I was so startled hearing him read the words correctly. So I asked him again to sound out and read the second word just to confirm if he really knows how to read this time, still he was able to read it, he went on and finish the ten or more words listed and while he was reading I was teary- eyed, I wanted to bawl hard but I was shy because the other students were there and they might think that their teacher have gone crazy. So I just gave him a quick and tight hug. My gladness cannot be measured at that point of time because yesterday he doesn’t know how to read and now he can and the next few days he was reading some simple sentences. I was so overwhelmed.

I praise and thank God for the wisdom and for answering my prayer for that student of mine. All the tiredness has gone. And I can definitely say that, it is one of the situations that made my stay in Cambodia worthwhile and I will never forget it. I can see the happy face of my student saying “Oh I can read now.”

 

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