And they call me “teacher”

Elena Brubaker
Blog Assignment #3: React and reflect on your experiences working for and with NIBC this week. Is it worth it and why or why not?

Throughout these four days I have had the privileged of working in the NIBC’s Rainbow Elementary School. Lydia and I chose to work with the second grade students. Our focus being the alphabet and pronunciation of sounds. Basically we spent four days going ah ah apple, buh buh bird haha and we taught the young students motions along with every new word. Currently I am studying Secondary Education at Calvin with an emphasis in Spanish. I have done ESL work for three years now and have a bilingual education minor yet teaching second graders English was not something I felt confident about. But as soon as I walked into that classroom and saw these beautiful, big smiles and was tugged from one child to another my fears disappeared.

Was it worth it? YES. This was an experience that no Calvin classroom could have taught me. I had little resources, language barriers, and little time. Yet the students taught me how they could draw in the air instead of on paper, they taught me how to laugh when I make a funny sound in English, and they taught me that time spent in class is just as important as time spent out of class with them. I was constantly being called “tee-chah” (teacher) by the class, yet quite frequently I found myself to be the student and learning more from these all to smart 2nd graders. Today was our last day there and we spent the day playing games, getting wet from water balloons, and holding hands as it was time to say goodbye. I won’t forget my class. I won’t forget their names: Taiba, Sarita, Dooomi, etc… and I won’t forget the great leaders and teachers in the Rainbow school.

I hope that when you finish reading this you send a prayer up to God for all of the students in Cambodia. For all of the teachers in Cambodia. And for education in Cambodia.

Peace and love to all of you back home.
Ah-koon (thank you in Khmai)


4 thoughts on “And they call me “teacher”

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