Broadening Horizons at Chumkriel Language School
In December 2022, 12 Senior Campus students went to Cambodia to teach at Chumkriel Language School for just over 2 weeks as part of Woodleigh's Broadening Horizons Program. We stayed in a place called Kampot while we were teaching and, on the weekend, we went to Kep, a beachside resort. We spent a lot of our time at Chumkriel, playing intense games of soccer, giving kids piggybacks and teaching … TEACHING a lot!
We taught in the morning school, where most of us would teach an English class, or a class about the importance of recycling, or spend a lesson in the library. A few of us went off to the small school (a classroom) in the Salt Fields to teach. Ash taught some super adorable toddlers, while Finn and I taught the older kids (and pretended not to hear the loud games of Duck, Duck, Goose Ash was conducting just outside!).
After lunch, we were teaching again with a new group of students, and this was followed by Evening school that finished at 7pm. Then we did it all again the next day. It was epic!
I came to this massive discovery that it's actually easier to teach kids when they listen to you! I also learned that teachers actually want to teach, and like it when kids are engaged in the class. It turns out all that stuff teachers blab about is true!
My favourite part of the trip was the break times at the Salt Fields when a couple of the kids just wanted to learn everything. We were learning about rainbows and days of the week and shapes. It made me realise that we get to come to school every day and learn as much as we want to, and having time to ask questions is something really valuable. I had a special student, my little genius Sreynut, who would thrive in an environment like Woodleigh. Unfortunately, Madams (Mr Adams) said we weren’t allowed to smuggle kids home through customs, which sucked! This is probably why half of us spent the bus ride home from the final day balling our eyes out …
When people ask me about the time I spent in Cambodia, I always say the same thing: “It was the best thing I have ever done.” I loved every minute in Cambodia and even had nightmares about leaving. I have made memories that I will treasure forever. Playing soccer with the kids was the best part of the trip. All the kids loved soccer, and debating over who was better, Messi or Ronaldo. Over the trip, I earned the nickname Harry Maguire, and kids would scream “Harry Maguire!”, whenever I scored.
Teaching the kids was one of the best parts of the trip. Seeing them progress and learn felt really rewarding. I am extremely glad I had the opportunity to go on this once-in-a-lifetime trip, and I would highly recommend applying for this trip if you get the opportunity.
Speak to Mr Adams if you are in Year 10 or 11 and you are interested in this year’s trip in December.
Video credit: Ruby Reynolds, Y12