Teaching in Cambodia
I didn’t want to continue being a solicitor and I wanted to live abroad.
Time for a Career Change – Time to be a TEFL Teacher Harriet Parker
This course has the best content for those with a thirst to teach!
A journalist who wrote a new story as a teacher Paloma Tiba
I decided that I wanted to live and work as an English teacher in the capital of Cambodia. Southeast Asia fascinates me and I love how there are so many nearby countries to visit such as Vietnam, Laos and Thailand!
After I arrived at the Phnom Penh airport, it was extremely easy to obtain the 1-month Ordinary visa which would allow me to continue on to get the 6-month EG (looking for work) visa without needing to leave the country. Plus, it could be used for multiple entries.
Soon after settling in, I hit the street with my CV and Passport photos in-hand to perform interviews and demonstration classes at the schools that I previously contacted through the Internet before even leaving the West Coast of Canada.
It wasn't that difficult to find a job doing what I do best teaching Kindergarten!
The Khmer and Chinese students are only 3-5 years old and have been incredibly fun to teach, yet the work is quite demanding.
You must constantly do everything in your power to keep them entertained, focused and above all else, happy! The teacher assistants have been very helpful by comforting them when they cry, taking them to the washroom, braiding the girls hair and offering them water when they shout out for it. I simply wouldn't be able to pull off the job without their help.
At this time, we're focused on learning the number 11 and letter U, mainly through tracing, colouring, activities and multi-media sources. I normally begin the class with a "good morning" or "days of the week" song and then introduce the number and letter of focus. Moving on from there...
If you are new to teaching Kindergarten, or will soon have your 1st Kindergarten class, I must remind you that keeping the students attention is a must since it's so easy for those younger learners to become distracted and this requires a lot of energy and patience on your part.
I will stress that it's also important to be extremely friendly, animated and share lots of high five's with the adorable children. Also, don't be shy! They love to watch as you pull off some of your favourite dance moves while singing a variety of songs for them :-)
However, sometimes you need to be stern with them, but normally it's best to remain the good guy since you are the foreign teacher and instead allow the teacher assistant to be the main disciplinarian.
As a teacher, I take great pride in knowing that I'm helping these children to enjoy learning English and this means everything to me! It certainly beats working a job that doesn't make much of a difference to others. At times the work can be frustrating, yet it's the belief that you're really doing something special for this younger generation of foreign students that keeps us going. Plus, the salary isn't half bad and the low cost of living here in Phnom Penh, Cambodia can't be beat!