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𝗦𝗮𝘃𝗲𝘁𝗵 – 𝗜𝗧 𝘁𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵𝗲𝗿

My name is Saveth Chhean and I have been at PLF almost 10 years. I teach Explore computers for middle school. Explore is an important class, it helps them to learn to use computers and apps that can help with their government lessons. It also teaches skills like how to do research by their own self, work in a group and give presentations. I am very proud of these classes. 

I come from Kompong Chnnang province. For school, I reached Grade 10. There was still civil war in Cambodia when I started school, around 1987 until 1998 when I finished, so I stop start a lot during that time. It was very difficult for me. 

After school I was a monk for 4 years so I have time to study English, also Thai, Chinese and French. From there I came to Siem Reap because my friend tell me that is the place that tourists come to visit Angkor Wat. So I came and I stayed at Wat Damnak pagoda, but it was a bit difficult because very small room and 5 people, when rainy season the room flooded so bad and we could not sleep. I only stayed there one year. From there I had one job as a receptionist and it was near to Seven Candles (Ponheary’s Guesthouse), and I also worked as a tuktuk driver.

My friend Natasha told me that PLF wanted staff for tuktuk driver so I apply and have interview with Lori and Ponheary. I had good experience with tourists and English so they give me the job as tuktuk for their volunteers who stayed at the guesthouse. When I’m taking the volunteers to the schools, then I always also help them in the classroom or any situation that they need so then they recommend that this one can be like a PLF staff. So I only tuk tuk for 1.5 years then PLF begin to train me for teacher.

Wow I felt so happy with that but also a bit difficult because it was the first time for me learning computer and I felt very confused with Macbook! I had to look again and again at the videos on how to use computer and try learn it. And I got a lot of training from the other PLF staff, about photography, video, media and how to be a teacher. Also we had some volunteer teachers come from America, that was really helpful she taught us a lot and had lots of materials to show and give examples, about how photographs and video have to tell a story. I was already really interested in video and photography so I really enjoyed it but I also saw that I didn’t know much because everything was new for me and I had to learn it all. So when I started teaching, honestly at the beginning I was a bit scared of the students! Because I didn’t know the way exactly how to teach them but after one year of training I felt more confident and I go to the next level of class and my salary increased.

Now I am responsible for all the Explore program at Chey, which I have worked closely with Christin and Sothy on, and it is an important and new program for PLF. When I think about this journey from tuktuk driver to teaching – well it seems like a long journey! – and I see that I understand so much more now about teaching. Even though I am still learning and I still have training. Last year I went to TDSO for more teaching techniques, that show us how to check student comprehension, otherwise how do we know that they understand all. I am really happy because I understand it myself and my confidence increase. And I see that especially the students understand more and their learning increase every day. I feel especially proud when I see that. 

If I hadn’t met PLF I think I would still be a tuktuk driver! I am very happy I got this job. They give me responsible and they let me learn, I know a lot now about technology and I manage my own lab. They give me a kind of education, that then I can share what I have to the students. Education is good for everyone, it can help develop people, and it can help develop the country. 

You can meet more of our amazing team and read their stories on the People of PLF page!


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