Friday, February 18, 2011

Life International School at Its Finest!

There are many people who come and go from our campus and do many things. Recently, a group of volunteers from Korea came for four months, and one thing they did was take some awesome pictures of all of the students and teachers of LIS. I love these photos so much... I think they really give a good picture into what our school is like here in Cambodia. If I had all the time in the world, I would post the individual student pictures, but I really don't think my brain or my internet connection can handle that. But here you can find each of our class photos. Enjoy!

Grade 4

Grade 3

Grade 2

Grade 1


Preschool- Morning Class

Preschool- Afternoon Class


Monday, February 7, 2011

The Power of YouTube

The purpose of this little post is to show you all just how different teaching can be over here. When I was packing to move, I had to make some serious decisions. Not just about clothes and shoes and medicines, but I had to significantly reduce my classroom library and choose the books that I thought would be the most beneficial in Cambodia. Since I was a relatively new teacher, I didn't have quite the library that other more seasoned teachers had, but I did have quite a few books to call my own. So I had to make some choices an narrow about 200 books down to more like 50.

Like many of the things that travelled overseas in my two enormous suitcases, I chose the wrong things. In one of my favorite books, The Poisonwood Bible, the wife and daughters of the missionary in Africa talk about how everything they brought with them was the wrong thing. The things they thought they would need and not be able to live without had no use for them in Africa, and they find themselves wishing they had brought many more practical things. Sometimes, I feel like that here in Cambodia.

When I look at the books I choose to bring (actually, they didn't come with me but got shipped later), I seriously wonder what I was thinking. Some of them, I can see why I thought I might need it. But every time I sit down to plan my lessons, I think of a story book that I KNOW I have sitting in the attic at my house in Birmingham, and for some reason I didn't pack it because I didn't think I would need it. So naturally, I have to get creative. There are no public libraries in Cambodia, so I can't even make one of my famous library runs and get as many books as possible on the topic I am teaching.

Enter: YouTube. About a month ago I discovered that you can find a lot videos of very popular children's books being read aloud. Now, as with anything on YouTube, you have to weed through a bunch of crap before you find what you are looking for or something you can use, but I have come to really rely on strangers reading to my children through the wonders of the Internet. Sometimes I feel quite lazy and like a bad teacher, but I would rather them hear the story this way than not at all. If you are ever in a bind for some storybook action (particularly Eric Carle, he has some great YouTube material), check it out