Change is tough and no one likes it.
As Cambodia is going through changes, hopefully for the better, we have to embrace and get ready for what’s coming up. As in education, the change is imminent. So what should we do as teachers to prepare ourselves and our students?
1. Be Open-minded
We have to realize that the world is changing and Cambodia is on the same path. The next generation of students is the same as those from the early 1980s, 1990s, or even 2000s. The way they perceive the world and attain knowledge are more dynamic and hands-on approach. As teachers, we need to be open-minded to different ideas and approaches we use to teach them. We need to understand that knowledge is not transferred from a teacher to students but created within the students themselves. Each one of them will build that knowledge differently and we have to be open to their unique approach.
2. Be Active
We have to continue to update ourselves. Be proactive! It is important to self-assess and look for ways to evaluate our needs to improve. The best thing about being a teacher is having the opportunities to learn new things, so we must strive connect with people in sharing ideas, learning new pedagogies, and upgrade our technology skills in order to keep up with the needs of our students.
3. Be Okay With Making Mistakes
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! Mistakes are the best thing that can happen to us, yes even in front of our students. We must become role models and make mistakes in front of them, and show them how to correct those mistakes. Teachers who believe that they can’t make mistakes are traditional and uptight. Like Albert Einstein said, those who do not make mistakes never try anything new! Embrace it! Challenge yourself and make mistakes!
4. Be Understanding
Don’t be mean! I’ve experienced with a lot of mean Cambodian teachers. I’m not sure why they think in order to effectively teach children, they need to scare them. We need to be more understanding of their background, knowledge, and needs. We know that the students do not have the same opportunity much less the same level of understanding. As teachers, we need to be more accepting and understanding of their circumstance, especially given the conditions and the state of development of Cambodia.
5. Be Fun
People think once we’re become a teacher, we can longer have fun! What a false believe. I think it’s incredibly important to make the classroom FUN! It has been shown that students attain better knowledge when they are having fun. From my experience, most students are naturally fun to teach and work with. It is the teachers who bore them to death with their boring lecture style. It really is time to change, and hey, let’s make it fun!