1. I learned that gaining the respect of my students is the key to success.
My first teaching stint was in Sihanoukville, a beach city on the western shores of Cambodia. As with most Asian cultures, elders are respected in Cambodia. My students would stand to answer me and were some of the most polite people I had ever met. Eye contact with an elder is never permitted and so the students would stand, look at the ground and address me as Kru, which is Khmer for teacher. After the students answered my questions, I would allow them to be seated and they would promptly say akun (thank you) and take their seats, still looking downward. I quickly came to the conclusion that all overseas classrooms must be equally calm and that teaching was going to be an easy way to travel the world.