Computers, geography and rain

On Monday mornings the children all have to pick up the litter from around the school site.  The two different groups – the morning and the afternoon groups – each do it twice a week, and it really needs doing because Cambodia seems to be covered in plastic.  There are empty drinks bottles and old…

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School lunch

School is morning or afternoon only, so in theory there’s no need to serve school lunch, but there are about twenty children at school who wouldn’t get any lunch if they went home, so there are two school cooks who make lunch for them every day. They have a sort of stew with rice, and…

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Next, the Games Teacher …

My day started at 5 am today, with very loud, tinny, tuneless music playing somewhere nearby.  As it was still going on two hours later, I asked the staff at breakfast what it was.  They told me that for any type of special ceremony such as a wedding or a funeral the music is played…

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The art lesson

Why did I ever think it was difficult to be an art teacher?  The answer to that is obviously propaganda and misinformation from currently-employed art teachers who don’t want the rest of us to find out what a doddle it is. I turned up this morning in some trepidation for my first art class, consoling…

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Grace House

I spent my first day observing at Grace House.  The first rule is: always remove your shoes before entering a room … including a classroom: This is the easiest thing in the world to forget if , like me, you’ve spent a lifetime walking into rooms without giving your footwear a second thought.  I keep…

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Discrimination against hedgehogs

I went down to breakfast this morning and noticed signs all over the guest house asking guests to be quiet, which seems a not unreasonable request, but also banning hedgehogs, which was frankly baffling and got me wondering whether the locals have a habit of smuggling hedgehogs into hotels: When I asked about this I…

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Getting to grips with maths

The last time I did any maths was a GCSE in 1991- and I mean real maths, not splitting a bill, checking my change or counting children on school trips.  But even these things are done using my own idiosyncratic method and I don’t show my working.  So I probably wouldn’t get any marks for…

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Cambodian Research

Last summer I decided to take a course to learn to teach English as a foreign language.  One year on, despite passing with flying colours, I still haven’t found an opportunity to use my new-found skill.  So, with ‘use it or lose it’ firmly in my mind, I have arranged to spend seven weeks in…

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