Ponh Aov is a pioneering teacher in Cambodia. She works in Tapang School in the Prasat Bakong District of Siem Reap. Her class is grade 1 and she has 37 students who benefit from her skills.
Described by her colleagues as ‘hard-working and a highly committed teacher’ Ponh Aov has recently been recognised nationally by the Ministry of Education for her Maths teaching.
What makes Ponh Aov so special? We sat down with her to find out.
Ponh Aov graduated from Teacher Training College in 2017 and has been a part of SeeBeyondBorders Quality Teaching Program ever since. She finds the techniques that she learned in this program and in the manuals very useful. Whenever she is planning a lesson, “she checks the manuals to see what kinds of techniques and resources.”
Ponh Aov also learns a lot from her mentor Chet Sony who is assigned to her. Chet Sony visits Ponh Aov about once a month. She finds the coaching and collaborating he offers “helps a lot”, especially with regard to classroom management. He has shown her “techniques that get the attention of all students such as clapping hands”. Chet Sony also helps her with her teaching style, he encourages her to “ask more questions and get more feedback and reflections from the students”.
When asked how it felt to win the award, Ponh Aov said that that she is very happy but she will not get distracted any time soon. “Teaching is the most important thing”.
Although Ponh Aov loves her job she finds some aspects quite challenging. One aspect of the job that she finds hard is dealing with the parents. She says that this is “very rare” but sometimes parents will blame her “if their child does not know anything and if the child knows everything then they say that they are very smart” and do not give her recognition for teaching their child.
Ponh Aov finished the discussion with some advice for Cambodian people who want to become teachers. She says that “we all go to the same Teacher Training College but many people do not take what they have learned and use it in the classroom, it is important that we take the best techniques we have learned and use them in the classroom”. She also talks about commitment and why you should become a teacher. She believes that “to become a teacher you have to be in it for the right reasons, not just for the salary”.