At home in Siem Reap (part 2)

I wake up to the sound of our local handyman sawing ice. It’s a slow sounding push, the rhythm, soft, the ice surrendering to Jahb’s saw. His saw appears rusty, prehistoric, with fine-long-sharp teeth. Sometimes he runs the ice through a “shaved ice” machine that was once red, it sounds old and temperamental, but he…

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Mistakes New Teachers Make

As a lot of you know, I’m a cliché, I’m an English teacher in Asia. You might also remember that I was a trained Waldorf teacher. I already wrote two articles about how my Waldorf experience has helped and hindered me as an EFL teacher. So I’m surprised I haven’t written about mistakes new teachers…

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Students draw me

My friend and colleague JP inherited one of my previous classes. So she decided to have them write down what they learned in their prior level, and draw a picture of their former teacher, complete with descriptions.

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Julia’s lesson plans

I’ve been here for 2 years, so I’ve seen a lot of friends come and go. One of the perks of knowing a transient population is you get to rummage through their castoffs and leftovers. Many of my clothes are hand me downs (thank you Aofie, Melanie, Sara, Yuko, Mia, and Julia!). My library collection,…

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What you need to teach…

There are certain personality traits or dispositions that help you be a successful teacher. I learned this when I was going through my Waldorf teacher training back in the United States. Then I was reminded of this while going through my TESOL course in Bangkok a few years ago, and I’m reminded again when I…

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What’s your favorite food?

What’s your favorite food? Noodle. By far the most common answer to the common practicing English in the classroom question. I’d say fried chicken or fried rice would be the second most common. But let’s go back to noodles. Or nooden as it is pronounced by Thais.

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What makes a good teacher?

Some teachers think their students are stupid. I don’t think my students are stupid, in fact, quite the opposite, I think they are smart and clever and little geniuses. If they are giving me that blank open mouth stare I think I’ve done a poor job explaining what I want them to do. Or I think…

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Not American enough

Should I be hurt that I was told I wasn’t American enough to teach English? I mean, I’m certainly cute enough. . . My friend who is a teacher at CMU (Chiang Mai University) passed along a student’s information to me since she wasn’t able to take on any more tutoring. After she made the…

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The color of English

Yellow is the new black. Now don’t get excited. Titles are supposed to grab your attention. All this discrimination against the Chinese certainly has. . . I didn’t really think about it until now. You know, I was aware that teaching English in an Asian country might be tricky because of my ethnicity. And I…

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