My name is Nol Samnang. I am 24 years old. I am a new teacher graduated from Regional Teacher Training Center (RTTC) in Kandal province last school year. After my graduation, The ministry of Education assigned me to 24 Kannha Upper Secondary School, located in Kampong Speu province which is bit far away from my home town, but still I am happy with my career as a science teacher. The school runs classes from grade 7 to grade 12, and this school year I am appointed to teach chemistry for all classes in grade 10. I was very nervous for my first teaching day when all the children in my class stared at me with huge expectations.
Ever since I was a small girl I dreamt of being a teacher. I like explaining things and want to help children to gain better knowledge and skills. During my two years training at RTTC I have learned a lot both on teaching methodology and content knowledge. I usually worked in group in the library on the homework given by my teacher trainers. Through the assignment I learned how to think critically, how to solve problems as well as to observe phenomena. These are the skills I find very important to become a good science teacher.
My teacher trainers usually apply student center approach as well as including experiments in their lessons. This has stimulated me to repeat the same method during my practicum. Student center approaches stimulate students to develop their skills; they are encouraged to use their prior knowledge and creativity to form a new content. They learn to recognize and listen to others’ opinion. Moreover, I find experiments very important for science lesson, it retain their knowledge in the memory without forgetting it.
In general, to become a good teacher, they should have strong content knowledge and good appearance, furthermore they should think logically, be neutral and friendly with the students.
I encountered some challenges to apply student centered approach in my lesson when I became the teacher. Some teaching materials are not available in school but I can find and bring them from home. Sometimes my pupils help me with finding the right materials. My director is always enthusiastic to support me when I ask for any request.
Today is International Teachers’ Day. In Cambodia thousands of teachers work every day in challenging conditions to give children a better future. They deserve a lot of respect and support for what they do. The above story is a summary of an interview we had last month with Nol Samnang, chemistry teacher in Kampong Speu province. Credit to Sokhany Nget for transcript and pictures.