Susan Bentley pictured with the head of the orphanage in Cambodia
When All Hallows' School English and history teacher Susan Bentley tells her students they can make a difference, they believe her. Susan completed a solo immersion in Cambodia late in 2011 as her own way of giving something back to the world community, reports The Catholic Leader.
As a teacher of 30 years Susan's decision to be "a living example of the All Hallows' ethos that social justice is the responsibility of every member of the school" began planning her trip in early 2011.
"I wanted to demonstrate to my students that one person can make a difference," she said. "Part of the ethos of our school is that social justice is our responsibility, and that was actually one of the qualities of this school that attracted me to All Hallows' in the first place.
"I've been here eight years now and I wanted to bring that lived experience to my classroom because I thought that would make a difference to my girls in the quality of what I was able to teach."
Susan said she chose Savong's orphanage and high school, outside Siem Reap, Cambodia, as her destination because she also wanted to learn more about Asian history.
"(In) my academic background, my major was in Asian History and I'm very interested in the curriculum mapping that is taking place at All Hallows' in the history department with the national curriculum guidelines because there is now an Asian cross-curricular priority embedded in the national curriculum," she said.
Susan said it wasn't an easy process to organise the solo immersion, with many family and friends expressing their concern about her travelling alone.
She said the trip was an overwhelming success and she now has a few hints for others planning similar experiences. "The first step is to research your destination," she said.
FULL STORY One person can make a difference (Catholic Leader)