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Cambodia’s Call for Harrington

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Jennifer Harrington teaching her Preschool class.

Jennifer Harrington teaching her Preschool class.

Megan Olson

Megan Olson

Jennifer Harrington teaching her Preschool class.

Erica Frisby, Sports Editor

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As individuals, we all fall into our own routines. Lakes Community High School teacher, Jennifer Harrington, has been teaching in District 117 for the past ten years. Recently, she has been chosen to step out of her comfort zone and inspire the lives of teachers and students in Cambodia, Africa.

International travel has always been important to Harrington. She has chaperoned two school trips to Europe, one trip to Italy and another to London and Paris. These experiences have helped her gain multiple viewpoints of the world, and now she is ready to incorporate volunteer work with her travels.

“For me, it’s really neat to see the world through others’ eyes. I’m always looking for my next adventure,” Harrington said.

Scrolling through Facebook, she came across an advertisement for a program that uses teacher training to enhance the education of children. Limited Resource Teacher Training has a very selective application process in order to ensure they are sending the best teachers to their ten different locations around the world.

Harrington had to decide where she wanted to volunteer. She talked to many friends and family and researched some of the locations including, Tanzania, North India, Cambodia, Rwanda and six others. After deciding on Cambodia, she filled out her application.

“I applied, which included about five essay questions, had a 30 minute phone interview, then was offered the position. I had one week to decide if I wanted to accept,” Harrington said.

Accepting the offer, Harrington will be traveling to Cambodia for three weeks this summer as a member of the LRTT program.

“The goal is to grow the capacity of teachers in the Siem Reap area so students have access to a better quality education. We deliver the LRTT course to teachers which introduces key areas of pedagogy and how to implement these in lessons,” said Harrington. “I will be working with a small number of teachers, visit them in their schools, observe their lessons then give coaching on improvements to their teaching.”

The program is set up in three phases. The first phase allows teachers to become accustom to the new culture. Harrington will receive a cultural introduction to the Cambodian Education system and a lesson on the Khmer language. She will be able to meet some teachers, visit the schools and make baseline observations.

“Working with teachers will have a longer lasting impact since their knowledge that they take away can be exposed to many different students,” Harrington said.

Phase two is more interactive. The volunteers will travel to their teacher’s school in order to conduct observations and coach them. Harrington will also take part in a conference where she will deliver her training sessions in the second phase.

The third phase includes another visit to the school to conduct lesson observations and to address any concerns before the graduation ceremony. Harrington will award a LRTT certificate to the teacher she is paired with.

“I am very excited to immerse myself in a different culture. I am also excited to learn from the teachers in Cambodia. No matter what experience you are in, if you are willing to find a learning opportunity, it will present itself,” Harrington said.

Harrington has to pay for all of the expenses which could add up to 3,000 dollars. She has set up a fundraising page in order to offset the cost. If you are interested in donating, please visit www.youcaring.com/teachersincambodia-736775.

 

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Cambodia’s Call for Harrington