We have been busy at the Butterfly Pea Foundation, it has been been a wonderful fulfilling November and so far December.
On the 6th of November we welcomed Dr. Jennifer McMahon to the Butterfly Pea. Dr. McMahon is the director of teacher professional development with the foundation. This was her first trip to Siem Reap and provided a great opportunity to meet the teachers from Prek Toal and to conduct workshops in person. This truly was an amazing experience.
Through the workshops we introduced a few new techniques, such as turn and talk, turn to the speaker, and other student focused learning. This was a new experience from teachers delivering the material to the students doing the learning and interacting with each other.
The best part of this exercise with the teachers was to see the teachers demonstrate and use it with the students. This was accomplished by Dr. McMahon visiting Prek Toal and direct observation of the teachers in the classroom working with their students.
But most rewarding was hosting a field trip for 15 students from the 8th and 9th grade at the Butterfly Pea Villa. For the students and teachers this was their first field trip.
It began with an early morning boat trip and van ride from Prek Toal to the villa where the teachers led the students in a fun based activity, followed by lunch and a trip to Theam’s Gallery, a wonderful gallery/museum/and work space founded by a local Khmer artist that had fled the Khmer Rouge when he was a young child.
This was followed by a visit to the gallery at the FCC and to view work by Nak Noy, a 20 year old self taught Khmer artist. The highlight of the visit was a talk with Nak Noy himself, the interest of our students was captivating.
The evening ended with a performance of Phare, the Cambodian Circus where they were able to see the show ‘Khmer Metal’ with our own Sothea Nem performing.
All of these activities were also part of learning as the students had to turn and talk with their neighbor about the experiences of the day and also had to write about their experience. Perhaps the most worthwhile activity was the following day when the students visited Angkor Wat, for many this was their first trip to Angkor Wat, which is only 30 Kilometers from Prek Toal but a three hour journey.
The activities of these two days were so instrumental to the learning process and over the next 6 months all 8th and 9th grade students will experience this.
Trying to make the most out of Jennifer’s time here, we incorporated a visit to the Teacher Training Center and to Wat Bo Primary School where we met with the Director Peung Kim Chhen. These meetings will be leading to some very exciting news in 2020 so please stay tuned!
People are always asking how they can help and one way is to purchase the 2020 Butterfly Pea Charitable Foundation calendar. Proceeds will help educational costs and assist with covering costs of sending students to high school and further their education.
We are looking forward to the next steps!!!