In this edition of ‘A Day In The Life’ we are introduced to Kamnhan, grade 1 teacher at Mith Samlanh.
Kamnhan teaches the Grade 1 class in Mith Samlanh’s Education Center. She arrives early at 7.15am so that she can have a few minutes of quiet before the chaos begins! She starts her day as a playground monitor looking out for the safety of the children as they arrive on the buses. At 8am lessons begin and Kamnhan’s first task is to check the children’s hygiene ensuring that their hands, nails, etc are clean. There are three groups in the class, split according to the children’s knowledge and abilities. They can range in age from six all the way to thirteen. Typically, one group will have supervised library time or cultural classes while Kamnhan teaches another. The last group will check homework or complete exercises until she rotates the class’s tasks. Some lessons, such as science, are taught to the whole class together. There is a timetable and lesson plan for each week. Important skills such as literacy and mathematics are learned every day whereas subjects like history and geography are covered more infrequently. However, Kamnhan says that all topics are as integrated as possible; a basic lesson on local history will still include relevant vocabulary and numbers. Time is also allocated for life skills and recreational games such as team sports.
Sessions are generally 45 minutes long with a short break in between. Lunch is from 11.30am-1.30pm; Kamnhan used to have to watch the children during this time as well, so she is happy that Mith Samlanh has now hired supervisors and she can relax a little! She uses her breaks to focus on all her other duties. She controls the stock for the Center’s educational materials and also has to estimate reintegration costs such as purchasing uniforms for children who are returning to public school. She assists with training new staff, both at Mith Samlanh and those from other Friends projects. Kamnhan has worked at Mith Samlanh for nearly 12 years so she is often in high demand to help with ideas for lesson plans! She walks home via the market at 5pm, stopping to buy food to make dinner for her family. In the evenings she works on any outstanding class work or inventory paperwork then tries to take some time to relax. Kamnhan says she works hard but is happy to work at Mith Samlanh as she can earn much more than at a public school and she loves the children that she teaches.