Name: Pechey Chun Age: 32
Mr Pechey has actually been from us since day one back in 2007 when he started teaching kids English in Treak. Here he shares his view on life and education
Where are you from? Siem Reap.
How long have you been working with Treak? Since 2007. The school started in in 2007 and myself and a group of my friends joined as the initial founding group. We all helped to run the school and I was working as Deputy Director, also helping out with the teaching. It was pure volunteer work with no salary for the first year. I love teaching and had quit my job at a hotel to do this volunteer work.
What is your background? I finished my degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management in 2007. Then I decided to go back to University (Buildbright) and got a degree in Teaching English as a Second Language. After working at Treak School for a while, I left to be a monk for 2 years. I felt I was young and needed more knowledge and experience.
Where do you get inspiration from? I was watching TV and saw that Steve Jobs had died. I didn’t know what Apple was, what iPhones were, I had no idea. I went to the bookstore and saw a Khmer language book about Steve Jobs which I read a few times. I was very inspired and that’s how I decided to go back to school. I’ve also read a lot about famous personalities like Bill Gates, J.K. Rowling and others for inspiration. I decided to focus on what I love, which is teaching.
How do you view problems? When I was younger I always avoided problems. Now I see problems as opportunities to grow and I embrace them. Difficulties make people stronger.
What’s your idea of success? I want Treak School to be the best school in Cambodia. If you set very high expectations it might sound ridiculous but that is how you succeed. I want our school to be a role model for other schools in Cambodia.
What’s your favorite book?My favorite book is the one about Steve Jobs. I’ve downloaded every single speech of his online.
Favorite movie? My favorite movie is Kung Fu Panda. I love the last scene – if you believe something is special, then it IS special! I believe this about Treak School.
What do you love about teaching? I try to kill the words ‘learn’ and ‘study’. I remember when I was a kid and got bored easily. If I can change the way students think- and let them believe that they are coming to school to play instead of learn- the time will fly by and they will learn indirectly.
How do you think people can make a difference in Cambodia? One fundamental thing is for people to discover their potential, and what they are talented at. “What you believe is what you achieve”. First you need to figure out what you love. People need to change their mentality from what ‘I should do’ and focus on following their passion.
I recommend my students not to go straight to university but to first work for one year to earn some money and spend time reading and learning about the lives and experiences of successful people.
What’s the most important thing to you? I always want to focus on moving forward. People can drown our dreams. Or the good people who share the same dreams can help us move forward.
Treak is like a bus with lots of people in it, driving along a cliff and almost crashing. The reason I don’t leave is because this place needs help, and if I can help it become amazing then that’s much more valuable to me than working at an established school.