Learning in the MYP – TIS Cambodia


As part of the TIS Cambodia Service Learning Tour that took place over the Spring Break included the students conducting interviews with students, TIS Cambodia teachers, village elders, NGO workers and TIS staff. The interviews were completely conducted by the students as were the final articles. Over the next five weeks we hope you will enjoy this interview series and that it will give you the TIS community a clearer understanding of what it is like for the teachers and students at TIS Cambodia and how TIS supports the school’s development.

Making a Difference By Emmalyn Kartchner

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After returning from Cambodia, I decided to interview Jared Johnson about the trip and about TIS Cambodia – how it came to be and his hopes for its future. This is his story!

TIS Cambodia started in 2007 by the founders of our school who began working with the NGO called World Assistance for Cambodia. When TIS Cambodia started, the PSA and school board were very involved. The Grade 8 trip every year was to Cambodia, and we were constantly shipping things over for them. When the earthquake happened in 2011, the focus on Cambodia was switched to victims of the earthquake and tsunami. At that time, we had 3 Cambodian students come over as exchange students at our school. When the earthquake happened, it was scary for them, and we didn’t know how to get them back to Cambodia. We did not have any more students from Cambodia come back after that experience.

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Before Des Hurst left, the former Head of School, he got me involved in teaching rural teachers how to teach. So I ran a workshop with a Non-Government Organization, and taught them different ways of teaching English to the students, and how to write good reports for donors. Soon after that, I went to Cambodia for the first time in March 2014. I was in the village the whole time and I worked all day long, by myself, teaching every lesson. In 2015, I asked the grade 7’s who would like to come, and Brandon and Miko volunteered. This year I finally filled my dream when 9 students attended. They really had a great time and learned a lot about the community. Now that I’ve done all this work, TIS Cambodia is here to stay. I think they would have closed it if I didn’t do this.

Now everybody in TIS is involved, raising money. So far, Kids-4-Kids has bought 10 whiteboards, bookshelves, and over 9 new computers. We brought over 70 kg’s of books to the school and the biggest project recently was the water well to provide fresh water.

Our next big plan for the future is getting 21 new bicycles for the village kids who live too far away, so they can go to school on a regular basis. We’re also putting on rain shutters, to protect the computers in the classroom and we’re looking to install ceiling fans which will cool it off quite a bit, fix up the playground, and we hope to hook up all 9 computers with internet so they can have access to the world.

Emmalyn Kartchner
Grade 7