Teaching from the Heart

Supporting community teachers in their learning and development

We recently spoke with Hang Sineth, a community teacher from the Ek Phnom district where FutureSense Foundation works in Cambodia. Sineth teaches grade 3 of our Supplementary Education Program.

The Supplementary Education Program offers 3 hours of free education to supplement the 4h of free education offered to students by the Cambodian Government. The program supports students from low-income families whom live below the poverty line and cannot afford to pay for tuition or private supplementary education.

Sineth is one of the 10 teachers of the Supplementary Education Program. She is only 20 years old but she is incredibly passionate about being a teacher. When we asked her why she decided to become a community teacher she responded: 

 “I want to develop the children to be stronger and teach the way that don’t be afraid of their love or dreams and I want to share my experiences, knowledge and anything that I know to the students… because their family are poor, they not have enough money and material for them to study.”

Community teacher, Hang Sineth

Community teachers come from wide a range of backgrounds and experiences, and although many are passionate about teaching, they have not always had the opportunity to be formally trained. After completing high school, Sineth continued her studies at University where she completed a course in accounting. As her educational background is not in teaching, FutureSense’s Teacher Training Program is an important learning and development opportunity for Sineth.

Since October, FutureSense Foundation has delivered 13 teacher training sessions to the 10 community teachers of our Supplementary Education Program. For only £10 per teacher we have covered some essentials of what we believe will help the teachers increase their potential and offer higher quality education to their students.

The sessions have included:

  • Exploring what makes a good teacher
  • Reflecting over the influential power teachers have
  • Discussing the importance of goal setting for teachers and students
  • Reviewing different teaching methods and styles
  • Familiarizing teachers with inquiry and experience-based learning 
  • Getting teachers to participate in and plan their own inquiry and experience-based lessons related to Conversational English and STEM.

Each session focused on exploring teaching methods and style. We focused on participatory methods that challenged the teachers to practice their classroom facilitation sills to facilitate inquiry and experience-based learning for their students. The teachers had the opportunity to both participate in example activities to gain first-hand experiences of the process. They were then supported in developing and delivering their own activities during their training.

At the beginning of October, Sineth set a goal for herself – to develop her ability, improve her teaching and learn to find solutions when she met with new problems during teacher training. She also expressed a desire to “learn new information from outside for teaching the students.”

Over the course of the 13 sessions Sineth attended, her favorite was exploring ‘Inquiry Learning’ and how she can facilitate inquiry-based learning through her teaching style.

Sineth said she is most looking forward to teaching her students about Phonics using her new skills so the students “can communicate with other people and pronounce it good too, then make them increase their ability higher, as before they never learn.”

When we asked Sineth about her experience of the teacher training she said, “The teacher training helped me to become a better teacher and share knowledge, give new information, show the way of teaching and do activity in class for my students… It make my ability stronger to help the student create their dream or ability. Especially allow them not be afraid and don’t give up of everything that they love!”

Hang Sineth with other community teachers

Sineth has never received any formal teacher training and is therefore happy to be receiving support and new skills and tools that she can start implementing in her classes.

We are looking forward to continue working with Sineth and the other teachers to further help them on their journey to reach their full potential as teachers.