SeeBeyondBorders’ annual January ‘Teach the Teacher’ trip commenced on 8th January with seven teachers and five project team members joining SeeBeyondBorders for two weeks in Cambodia. In her second blog for us teacher Mel shares her thoughts.
When we all met in Battambang to run through the orientation for what would happen over the next few days for the teaching and project teams, Ed shared the vision and values of SeeBeyondBorders. The values of transition, sustainability, integrity, efficiency, knowledge and courage had already been seen in our first few days in Cambodia with SeeBeyondBorders but as we spent the first day in schools I was really taken by the courage shown by so many.
Firstly the project and teaching groups who have so courageously come together to share their knowledge and learn more about Cambodia. As we travelled out to the school for the first time we weren’t really sure what to expect and were all feeling nervous about how the lessons we would model would go. It takes a lot of courage to be in a classroom, modeling to people who don’t speak the same language in a country many of us have never been in before but everyone was supportive and understanding and took the risk to share their ideas with the Khmer teachers.
Secondly, the courage shown by the mentors and teachers who will spend the next few days inviting us into their lessons and conversations. For anyone to take risks in their learning and be open to taking on feedback about their teaching is certainly courageous and I was amazed at how welcoming the teachers were. They are so open to making changes and trying to improve their practice and although it is unnerving to teach in front of others, they were happy to take the risk to learn more. Even as the day drew to close, they continued to push themselves and question their teaching. And when we played different warm up games they were eager to join in regardless of the fact they had not done it before.
The staff who supported us from SeeBeyondBorders were so courageous in inviting us in to stand with them in supporting their group of mentors and teachers. For a group of people who are so good at what they do wanting to continue learning and sharing is wonderful. They had a difficult day of working their normal job as well as translating and explaining what was happening to us must have created more worry for them but they took it in their stride and did an amazing job.
As our first day came to an end it was evident in our reflection time that stories of courage continued through the day, and was even shown in how honest we were through reflection. As we looked back at the courage shown throughout the day it was empowering to know that no one was happy to stand back, but rather everyone was willing to take a risk to improve themselves and the education in Cambodia.