Friday, September 13, 2013

Cashmere in Cambodia

Since yesterday, I have been here for exactly one month.
And what an exciting month it has been!

Sorry it’s been so long since my last post. Between my TESOL class, teaching, a bit of traveling, finding an apartment, and finally securing a job, life has been a mental and emotional whirlwind of an experience. 
View mountains from my balcony

I’ve had so many amazing experiences in my five weeks here in Phnom Penh and I’d like to touch on one through this post: my experiences student teaching.
I had the opportunity to teach 4-11 year olds at a Korean orphanage and also teach 4-8 year old children that lived behind our hotel (formerly called the River Rats, now fondly referred to as the Marady Munchkins). And it was a bumpy start, but I had the time of my life teaching these nuggets English, even if it was only for 2 weeks. 
Most of my Marady Munchkins

Some of my students from the Korean Orphanage

Throughout the two weeks we learned about the weather, musical instruments, and the rooms of the house. My favorite topic was definitely the musical instruments lessons because we had so much fun listening to the musical instruments, playing games matching the sounds to the instrument and also making music and signing in every class. 

My Marady Munchkins were also a joy to teach—they’re so smart and picked up and retained most of what I attempted to teach them. We covered the pronunciation of several letters, the days of the week, colors, some fruits and veggies, and I taught them a few new songs.
I’ve learned just as much from this experience… some things as trivial as cashmere and Cambodia don’t mix too well. I also learned that elementary aged students find it hilarious when their teacher acts silly and does the “go bananas” dance, but that through acting like a lunatic you get closer to the students. One of my favorite memories was when the students from the Korean orphanage finally learned how to say my name—even if they still pronounced it Candy most of the time. I also got one of the youngest, quietest students to smile, and even managed a hug out of her before I left on my last day with the students. 

The past two weeks taught me so much… I can definitely say that I admire my past teachers even more now that I’ve been in front of a class of screaming children. 

I’m really sad to see this experience come to an end, but I hope to continue to volunteer at the Korean orphanage, and there might be a way that you (my readers) could potentially help the students here in Cambodia. (but more on that at a later date!)

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