Agents of Change
Teacher Training has been a priority for Caring for Cambodia (CFC) from the beginning, because we know that effective teachers are at the heart of thriving schools.
CFC’s Teacher Training Program (TTP) began in 2004 with an innovative partnership between CFC’s Cambodian teachers and international teachers based in Singapore. Experienced teachers at the Singapore American School and the Tanglin Trust School were the pioneers of this program. Each year, teachers from both schools work in teams to develop and deliver hands-on training workshops at the CFC schools, tailored to Cambodia’s Ministry of Education Youth and Sports (MoEYS) government curriculum. In 2007, the program took an exciting step and expanded to include study tour opportunities. Leaders among our Cambodian teachers are now given the chance to travel to Singapore to observe international classrooms and further their professional development.
In 2008, CFC appointed its first Teacher Training Director, based in Cambodia. The primary objective was to train a cohort of talented CFC Mentor Teachers. Mentor Teachers are teachers within CFC schools who have shown outstanding leadership skills and a strong grasp of teaching methods. They are responsible for setting the training goals for each school year, running weekly teacher meetings, developing workshops and supporting their fellow teachers, day-to-day, through on-going classroom observations.
More recently, the Mentor Teachers helped develop a performance-based salary bonus system that has raised the bar for accountability. Mentor Teachers regularly assess teacher performance against explicit criteria established by the teachers themselves. This newest TTP initiative has fostered an atmosphere of professionalism and career advancement that sets our schools apart.
The Cambodian Ministry of Education and Youth Services (MoEYS) has recognized CFC’s Teacher Training Program as a trailblazer. Program founders, Kaye Bach, Liz King, and Katie Sansom, received the 2010 Golden Hand Award, the highest award given by the Cambodian Government to a non-Cambodian, awarding outstanding service to the Cambodian community. MoEYS representatives make regular trips to CFC schools in an effort to expand our training strategies more broadly.
What began as a pilot project for primary school teachers in 2004, is now a robust and enduring partnership that supports every teacher at the CFC schools—preschool through high school. Our methods are sustainable and replicable, positioning our teachers as agents of change in Cambodian education.