February 8, 2010

Learning for a reason

Teaching is hard. All you teachers out there nod your heads in agreement because I am right. There's nothing quite like the desperation of watching your lesson plan tank as you stand in front of a white board, unsure of what to do next. Do you abandon ship and let class out early? Do you persevere, despite the looks of horrified confusion on the students' faces? Do you casually mumble something and then spend the rest of class explaining/apologizing about the naughty words in English?

Luckily, in a low-pressure school like CWF, most class periods are a breeze (indeed the only breeze in Cambodia). Today, for instance, I used a high-energy game to review the past two weeks' material. The students were excited, bursting out with laughter, and speaking English! I was pleased. The CWF students are motivated by business and education opportunities and I am so proud of them for doing something to advance themselves. Cambodia is a sink hole unless you get a leg up. Cambodians who can get a university education and significant English language training have a much higher chance to break the cycle.