Max Mason

Teach Enrich Empower

My adventure in Cambodia

Hello! My name is Max Mason, I’m 24 from South Devon and I’m currently teaching English in Cambodia!

Before deciding that I wanted to teach English abroad, I worked in London for two years in music after graduating from University in 2014. I decided to take the TEFL course because I wanted a change in my life, from London, from the UK and wanted to try something completely different. From talking to others who had done it, a TEFL qualification was necessary to teach abroad plus I wanted some preparation before I started actually teaching so I went for the TEFL course with The TEFL Academy. I’m currently teaching full-time in Phnom Penh, Cambodia at the Phsar Touch Branch of the Westline School. Westline has 6 schools across Phnom Penh with over 60 staff, teaching over 800 students.

My TEFL course has helped me in a number of ways. Firstly, it gave me the basic groundwork in how to plan the most effective lessons. From already teaching for 3 months, I can tell you that teaching is all about preparation. As an English speaker, correcting students and being able to transfer your knowledge of the language involves little thought processes. It’s instinctive. But knowing what to do with your students and how to make sure they understand your lesson aim is something you need to work on – all of which The TEFL Academy course really helps you with.

“I can tell you that teaching is all about preparation.”

Apart from this, The TEFL Academy course provides you with a detailed run through in the areas of language you need to cover in the classroom. Everything from reading, writing, pronunciation to grammar is shown in the course which has enabled me to adapt lesson plans that were already provided to me at my school to further improve the lesson. My funniest classroom situation has to be what happened this week in fact. I came back to school from my lunch break and a few students started coming up to me, saying Happy Birthday to me (it was my birthday 3 months ago). Suddenly, a few of my new students started running towards me to keep me away from my classroom. They wouldn’t let me in and when they did they had a birthday cake ready for me! I’m not sure how this happened but I went along with it anyway. Free cake for me! After eating some cake, I initiated some cake in the face and the classroom got a little bit messy to say the least but it was a good bonding experience with the kids for sure and a funny/strange experience for me.

Cambodia is a crazy, crazy country. I have had two phones in the space of 3 months here due to the fact that there are effectively no consumer right laws so buying any new electronics is a real headache but the people here are extremely friendly and always welcoming. I am yet to venture on a real wildlife trip in Cambodia, so this is next on my list, as is visiting Angkor Wat – one of the seven wonders of the world! My piece of advice for anyone wanting to teach English overseas is that if you are considering doing it then you are already more than qualified to do it! Alongside having a TEFL certificate, you will be more than good to go. A change of culture and place does the head a world of good.

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