19 December 2015

Winter Break Begins

Last time I wrote was after a crazy weekend. The week that followed was a good one, with two teaching days followed by an inter-school sports day at the International School of Phnom Penh. I think there were students from eight schools involved, all from Phnom Penh. It was a great day. The emphasis was on participation rather than formal competition, but there was opportunity for that as well. Our students had opportunity to try a variety of activities that they don't get to do at East-West, including an 800m run, long jump, high jump, hurdles, sprints, and shot put, as well as fun activities like "rocket throw" and "fish throw" (kid friendly versions of javelin and discus), sack races, three legged races, water relay races, and standing long jump. At the end of the day there were 4 x 100m relay races for each grade level with one team from each school in each race. It was a hot day, but my lovely head umbrella helped keep me cool. Generous lathering on of sunscreen was also necessary. Frozen water bottles, topped up as I emptied what had defrosted, kept me hydrated during the day.
One highlight for me was seeing a young man who I had known as a teenager during my first years in Cambodia, working as a responsible teaching assistant at that school.
We returned to school after lunch, and retreated to the classroom where I turned on fans and air-conditioning, and settled the students with a movie. We watched Treasures of the Snow, a story I have loved since childhood, and finished it off the next afternoon after the Grade 3-5 assembly. 
It was good to have a day off the next day, and then one more teaching day before the weekend.

This week we had a full week, but since it was leading up to holidays I decided to get most of the real work done by Thursday, and make Friday a fun day. I took it one step further, and decided to show a movie on Thursday afternoon. It's a fun movie, but the setting is Egyptian and it involves archaeologists hunting for lost treasure in a pyramid, so it fits in with our current Social Studies unit on Ancient Egypt and pyramids. Friday morning we played math games (practising multiplication facts), did a little grammar, and then either played a word game or listened to a Raz-Kids story on internet safety. 

Report cards were handed out on Thursday, along with school calendars for the coming year, and returned work folders. My students amazed me by ALL remembering to return their blue returned work folders to me, empty on Friday.

Today, I enjoyed a relaxed pace and worked on producing a news/prayer letter. There are quite a few hours work involved, but it's done now, and sent. Mission accomplished. I slipped out for dinner, and ended up sharing a table with our elementary principal who was on a similar mission. It was nice to have company after spending the day alone. Tomorrow, I'm looking forward to meeting up with one of my students from my first two years at East-West. Her family were in Cambodia for two years with Australian Volunteers Abroad, and I had the pleasure of teaching her and her friends for both 3rd and 4th grades. Her family is visiting Cambodia, and I'm looking forward to seeing them.

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