Monthly Archives: January 2012


Doing the very best that you can in the present moment

Neil Amas, Director of Panyaden School, bilingual school in Chiang Maiby Neil Amas
Panyaden School Director


There is a common misunderstanding that in Buddhism, all desire is ‘bad’ and leads to suffering. In fact the Buddha recognised that there are 2 different kinds of desire. One is desire borne of ignorance, an unwholesome or negative desire (tanha) which gives rise to suffering. The second is wholesome desire, or chanta, which originates from a clear understanding of the way things are. It means doing the very best that you can in the present moment. It’s a basic Buddhist idea of wise effort.

Panyaden School's Buddhist Spiritual Advisor, Ajahn JayasaroAs explained by Ajahn Jayasaro during a talk at Panyaden last year, this is an important principle in the education of children or in the raising of children by parents. We should not be overly obsessed with results, but, rather, look for quality of action in the present moment. There will be disappointments and things will not always work out how you want them to be, and there will be outside influences that you cannot control, so the best you can do is put effort into things that you can. This is right motivation. Ajahn Jayasaro explained, “An over-emphasis on results in the future tends to have a number of negative consequences in the present, such as anxiety, restlessness, boredom, dissatisfaction, or very easily can lead to dishonesty because if you feel that something you do in the present is merely a means to get what you want in the future, the temptation to take short cuts becomes very strong.”

As parents and teachers we all want our children to be healthy and happy. But if this desire is not wise it may lead to us becoming overly protective causing our children to become too dependent on us, or we may become over-controlling and create alienation and rebellion in our children.

Chanta, then, is positive desire and arises from compassion and unconditional love. In the classroom, as well as at home, this means encouraging our children to be enthusiastic in developing their own learning and knowledge, to try hard to succeed no matter the consequences and to maintain and create good behaviour. For example, a sister who helps her younger brother get dressed for school purely out of love and a desire to help him has chanda. A group of students who are enthusiastic about learning a new subject at school solely from their love of learning and desire to work hard at it regardless of the results, are displaying chanda.

We all know how precious a parent’s praise is to a child. If we concentrate on praising effort, we will help them develop chanta, a wise habit for life.

This Week’s Wise Habit


ความยินดีในกิจที่ทำ (ฉันทะ)

Panyaden School teacher talking about Buddhust wise habit  Learn through play and experience at Panyaden, bilingual school in Chiang Mai

The Kung Fu Chef  has come with his special pot of soup again! He congratulated K2-3 students for sending him more letters than any other class giving examples of how they had practiced last week’s habit, ‘Mattannuta’ (‘knowing the right amount’) and invited them to help him put the ingredient into his big shiny pot.

Teachers & students of Panyaden School, bilingual school in Chiang Mai Kindergarten students at international school in Chiang Mai, Panyaden Kindergarten students learning through play at Panayden School, internationa school in Chiang Mai

Deftly kicking his right leg out and raising his left arm, our Kung Fu Chef then demonstrated this week’s new wise habit ‘Chanta’ or ความยินดีในกิจที่ทำ (ฉันทะ), which means ‘desiring truth, knowledge and goodness.’ For more on the meaning of ‘Chanta’, read Panyaden School Director Neil Amas’ upcoming post on the subject.

Kindergarten student learning through games and role-playing at Panyaden School, bilingual school in Chiang Mai Here we go! Panyaden School's teacher with kindergarten student demonstrating a kung fu move Panyaden School, bilingual school in Chiang Mai School teachers, staff & students of Panyaden School, international school in Chiang Mai Look! I can do this too! Nursery & kindergarten students of Panyaden, bilingual school in Chiang Mai

Career Opportunities

Native English Speaking Teachers

Panyaden School is looking for native English speaking teachers to join us for our next school year, starting March/April/ 2012. We require pre-school and primary homeroom teachers and a Maths/Science specialist teacher.
You must have teaching experience, be comfortable working in a bi-lingual/cultural environment and hold a teaching qualification. Importantly, candidates should be open-minded, resourceful and flexible and be committed to the school’s values and educational approach.
Please send a personal statement and your CV to Or call 053 426 618 for more information.


Summer School 2012


Our Environment, Our Future

Panyaden Summer School April 2012

Our 2012 Summer School will be five weeks of fun and educational activities based upon experiencing, appreciating and taking care of our environment. With a focus on learning through experience, using our hands and hearts as well as our minds, we will explore and appreciate our environment through a combination of field trips around Chiang Mai and school-based activities. Bringing together trained teachers and experts in sustainable development and traditional methods of preserving nature, your child will learn how to love and care for all living things, to find creative ways of living in harmony with our environment and to develop good habits and self-discipline in regards to consumption. The course will be run in both English and Thai (50/50).


The Summer School will be taught in three groups:

Group I: Nursery and Kindergarten 1 (2 – 4 year olds)

Group II: Kindergarten 2 to Prathom 2 (4 – 7 year olds)

Group III: Prathom 3 to Prathom 6 (7 – 11 year olds)


April 2 – May 4, 2012

Mon-Fri 8.30pm to 3.30pm (apart from national holidays)

3,000 baht per week


For more information and details on enrolment, please contact

Khun Boy 0800 785 115 (English and Thai)


12 Wise Habits

Guiding Principles For Our Children

Panyaden School teacher displaying 1 of the 12 wise habits to the students

The Wise Habits of Panyaden are 12 core virtues for all of us to understand, learn and practice. Given to us by the school’s spiritual advisor, Taan Ajahn Jayasaro, we are looking at fun and creative ways to teach both our children and ourselves good habits which will last a lifetime.

Panyaden School teacher in chef's costume as part of role playing  Teaching through fun and games at Panyaden School  Panyaden school Thai teacher in costume at school assembly

So each Monday morning in assembly, enter stage left ….the Kung Fu Chef. (The what?!) The Kung Fu Chef teaches us a kung fu move to represent each habit and tells us to practice that habit all week. This week is ‘Mattannuta’ (knowing the right amount). The kung fu move helps students remember while having fun at the same time.

The next week, if we have all practiced well, he puts the ingredient ‘Mattannuta’ into a big soup pot. After all 12 ingredients have been added, he promises to make a delicious soup….

Panyaden School Math & Science Teacher in costume   Dance demonstration by students of Panyaden School, international school in Chiang Mai  Bilingual school students of Panyaden School at assembly hall

This is not only for children. Teachers also meet each week to share examples of each wise habit from their own lives. Because we all know that if we don’t practice them ourselves, we cannot teach our children.

Here they are:

  1. Using the senses wisely (‘Indriyasamvara’)  การสำรวมระวังอินทรีย์ (อินทรีย์สังวร ระวังรักษา ตา หู จมูก ลิ้น กาย ใจ)
  2. Knowing the right amount (‘Mattannuta’)  การเป็นผู้รู้จักประมาณ (มัตตัญญุตา)
  3. Not harming (‘Awihimsa’)  การไม่เบียดเบียน (อวิหิงสา)
  4. Being patient and tolerant (‘Khanti’)  การอดทนอดกลั้น (ขันติ)
  5. Desiring knowledge, truth and goodness (‘Chanda’)  ความยินดีในกิจที่ทำ (ฉันทะ)
  6. Being truthful (‘Sacca’)  ความซื่อสัตย์ (สัจจะ)
  7. Persevering (‘Wiriya Chakriyanuyok’)  ความเพียร (วิริยะ)
  8. Being generous (‘Caga’)  การเสียสละ (จาคะ)
  9. Being kind and compassionate (‘Brahmavihara’)  ความเมตตากรุณา (พรหมวิหาร)
  10. Being mindful and alert (‘Sati’)  การมีสติ
  11. Being calm and focused (‘Samathi’)  การมีจิตแน่วแน่ (สมาธิ)
  12. Applying the mind skilfully (‘Yonisomanasikara’)  การคิดเป็น (โยนิโสมนสิการ)

K2-3 Class

Panyaden School Bug Fair sign

Drawings made by kindergarten students of Panyaden School, bilingual school in Chiang MaiFor the past five weeks, Panyaden’s Butterfly class (K2-3) has been studying bugs. The students voted on 3 types of bugs (butterfly, ladybird and spider) that they wanted to study in-depth. They gathered their previous knowledge about each bug and worked out questions they would like to find answers to. They learned about each insect’s life cycle, habitat, food and special characteristics.

As our final project for the unit, the students applied the knowledge they have acquired to create their own bug species. The students drafted their own ideas about the physical characteristics of their insects before making 3D models. Next they provided facts about how they grow (life cycle), what they eat (food) and where they live (habitat) before they created models based on these facts.

The Create-A-Bug Fair allowed our students to present their very own bug species to their parents, schoolmates and teachers, and to role-play as scientific experts.

Student science project, Panyaden School, bilingual school in Chiang Mai Panyaden School's student presentation In English and Thai Science presentation at Panyaden School by kindergarten student Science presentation on bugs by kindergarten student of Panyaden School, international school in Chiang Mai Kindergarten student's science project at Panyaden School, international school in Chiang Mai Presentation on bugs by student of Panyaden School, international school in Chiang Mai

New bug species - created for science peoject by kindergarten student, Panyaden School (bilingual school in Chiang Mai) Kindergarten class science project, Panyaden School (international school in Chiang Mai)  Bilingual school, Panyaden School's Kindergarten student's science presentation Student science project at Panyaden School, bilingual school in Chiang Mai Science Project by young student of Panyaden School, international school in Chiang Mai Kindergarten class project by students of Panyaden School, bilingual school in Chiang Mai

ใน 5 สัปดาห์ที่ผ่านมา นักเรียนห้องผีเสื้อ (อ.2 – อ.3) ได้เรียนเรื่องแมลงและนักเรียนได้ลงความเห็นว่าต้องการเรียนรู้เรื่องแมลง 3ชนิด ได้แก่  ผีเสื้อ เต่าทองและแมงมุม ซึ่งนักเรียนได้รวบรวมช้อมูลเกี่ยวกับแมลงทั้ง 3 เท่าที่รู้  และตั้งคำถามที่เขาสนใจ เพื่อค้นหาคำตอบ  นักเรียนยังได้เรียนรู้เกี่ยวกับวงจรชีวิตของแมลง แหล่งที่อยู่อาศัย อาหาร และลักษณะพิเศษของแมลงแต่ละชนิด

หลังจากเรียนเรื่องแมลงจนจบขั้นสุดท้ายของหน่วยการเรียนรู้นี้ คุณครูให้นักเรียนรวบรวมความรู้ทั้งหมดที่ได้รับ เพื่อสร้างจินตนาการและประดิษฐ์แมลงของตัวเองขึ้น โดยนักเรียนต้องร่างความคิดเกี่ยวกับลักษณะของแมลงในจินตนาการนั้นขึ้นมา  แล้วก็อธิบายถึงวิธีการที่แมลงเติบโต (วงจรชีวิต) อาหาร  และที่อยู่อาศัย โดยอิงข้อมูลความจริงเรื่องแมลงที่เรียนมา หลังจากนั้นก็สร้างแบบจำลอง 3 มิติขึ้น

การจัดงาน Bug Fair นี้ เปิดโอกาสให้นักเรียนได้แสดงบทบาทเสมือนเป็นผู้เชี่ยวชาญด้านวิทยาศาสตร์เพื่อนำเสนอสายพันธุ์แมลงที่นักเรียนได้จินตนาการและประดิษฐ์ขึ้นมา แก่ผู้ปกครอง เพื่อนๆ และครู 

Teachers & students of Panyaden School enjoying a Science presentation by their kindergarten schoolmates Kindergarten student sharing his project with Panyaden School Director Head Teacher of bilingual school, Panyaden, at Science Fair Kindergarten student of Panyaden School, bilingual school in Chiang Mai Kindergarten students presenting their science project at Panyaden School fair

Our young student with her bug project, Panyaden School My science project! By students of bilingual Panyaden School in Chiang Mai Student writing down in Thai & English what he has learnt about bugs at Science fair, Panyaden School Writing in Thai and English at bilingual school in Chiang Mai, Panyaden School

More photos here.

Ajahn Jayasaro’s Visit (from our Newsletter Issue 2)

Panyaden's Buddhist Spiritual Advisor, Ajahn Jayasaro visits our school in Chiang Mai

Q and A with Ajahn Jayasaro

The Venerable Ajahn Jayasaro kindly visited Panyaden School to meet students, parents and teachers. Our students prepared a list of questions to ask him.

“Why are you a monk?” asked Nova from K2- K3. Because I thought it was the best way to become a better person and create a better world, Ajahn Jayasaro replied. Lily from P1-P2 asked, “Why do you meditate?” He responded that it helps calm the mind and keep us in the present moment.

Ajahn Jayasaro, Panyaden School's Buddhist spiritual advisor Bilingual school students, Panyaden School in Chiang Mai Student asking a question at Panyaden School's Dhamma Talk by Ajahn Jayasaro Kindergarten student asking questions, Panyaden School (bilingual school in Chiang Mai) Foreign student at Panyaden School, bilingual international school in CHiang Mai Panyaden School's Thai student asking questions during Dhamma Talk by Ajahn Jayasaro

Praise the behaviour, not the child

In the talk with parents, Ajahn Jayasaro cautioned against telling your children ‘You are smart’ or ‘you are beautiful.’ This can impose a fixed identity on a child that is difficult to shake off and encourages children to focus on an attribute that may not be beneficial to them, such as physical looks. We should instead praise effort. Enjoying one’s own effort is more likely to lead to happiness, regardless of ultimate success or failure.

Children’s Day Event

‘Kids’ Day 2012’ at Central Airport Plaza

What a huge turnout at Panyaden School’s booth this weekend! It was wonderful to see so many smiling faces on a day that honours and celebrates all children.

Little ones were cheerfully making friendship bracelets for their friends and family while others drew, coloured and cut out paper dolls. Many children (and, ahem, quite a few adults) were delighted to learn about basic cotton fabric making. They spun, threaded and weaved cotton fibre into small pieces of fabric.

We are happy that so many of you came out to play and learn with us. Let’s also give a big hand for our school staff and teachers who came out to help make the weekend such a success. Happy Children’s Day always!

The photos can be found here on Panyaden image gallery. We also have photos of other Children’s Day activities at our school here.


Update on Children’s Day Event


Happy Children’s Day! Here’s an update on activities you and your children can look forward to this weekend at our Central Airport Plaza booth.

Panyaden student spinning cotton at school

  • Learn about cotton and how this amazing little plant can be used to make cloth
  • Weave small pieces of fabric
  • Make colourful friendship bracelets for your friends and family

Join us!

  • Date: Sat 14 – Sun 15 Jan 2012
  • Time: 10.00-18.00 daily
  • Location: G Floor, D Zone (map below)