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Few qualitative studies have been done in Cambodia, a country held hostage by the murderous Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. Still struggling to recover from these atrocities, Cambodia looks to education to aid in its redevelopment. This ethnographically-informed case study describes the classrooms of four Cambodian primary school teachers in the post Pol Pot era. The richness of their classrooms, their practices in the face of crowded classrooms with few supplies, and their belief in education is apparent. Alongside this is the teacher propensity to see themselves and their practice through a deficit lens. The article describes forces that impact literacy development, including well-meaning gifts from abroad.