As part of our theme on inventions, our P3 class went for a field trip to the Digital Zoo in the Chiang Mai Night Safari this afternoon. They have been learning about inventions. From silly inventions, to practical ones, to making our own and everything in between. This field trip will allow the students to learn about how technology affects them in their everyday life and how we can use technology for entertainment. Students will learn about some new technology and get a chance to actively use it.
Our students from K2 – P6 enjoyed a day of fun participating in today’s annual Panyaden Science Fair. They learnt how air moves by releasing hovercrafts made out of balloons and used CDs, mixed corn flour and water to form globs of oobleck and making them dance using sound energy. They created their own magic rainbow by shining white light onto a prism, which then refracts and disperses it to form the 7 colours of the rainbow. They watched intently as their schoolmates used drink cans to demonstrate how molecules in various states behave differently when subjected to heat and cold before trying their hand at the Can Crush experiment themselves.
Head Teachers Kru Michel and Kru Dokmai explained that idea is to get the students to do much more than just watch. They are encouraged to try the experiments themselves and ask lots of questions.
Clickhere or the image (left) for questions and information on each experiment as well as the achievements of famous scientists in the world like Galileo and King Rama IV, the Father of Science in Thailand. More photos of today’s Fair are here on the blog.
Khanti (pronounced kan-tee) originates from the Sanskrit word kshanti and means ‘patient endurance’ or forbearance. It is the ability to tolerate provocation, hardship, pain and all obstacles in your life. It is the voluntary control of mood and temper by the training of the mind.
In Buddhist texts khanti is considered to be one of the ‘ten perfections’ (parami), a high and noble quality that, far from indicating weakness or passivity, is seen as a great strength. It is a patience that endures being hurt without thoughts of revenge, arduous tasks without complaint and illness without despondency. Khanti is the acceptance of the first Noble Truth, the truth of dukkha (dissatisfaction, suffering). As we learn to accept that life is characterised by happiness that does not last and unhappiness that at times seems to have no end, we begin to see how much time and energy we waste trying to avoid or deny dukkha. When we accept the natural instability of life, we stop feeling defeated and sorry for ourselves.
Khanti relates closely to other wise habits, including viriya (perseverance) and samathi (being calm and focused). Without khanti, no matter how much we persevere we will become agitated and frustrated by the obstacles in our path. If we allow the distractions that inevitably arise in our minds when we are trying to stay focused to irritate and discourage us, concentration becomes more difficult than if we simply accept them as natural occurrences. By the same token, without viriya and samathi we are unlikely to muster and maintain the vigour and concentration needed to train the mind to be patient.
Venerable Ajahn Jayasaro has drawn attention to research that, contrary to traditional views, reveals that high IQ is not related to success in life. The old beliefs in IQ are now outdated. According to contemporary studies impulse or emotional control is a far more important indicator for success in studying, family life and career (this is a key component of what is often referred to as ‘EQ,’ or “emotional intelligence”, in modern educational terms). Venerable Jayasaro advises that children who have little tolerance, are selfish or spoiled will grow up wanting an easy life and lacking emotion control. The tendency to later develop destructive habits or addictions becomes high. Having the patience and tolerance to resist unwholesome acts is a virtue that will protect a child from such negative consequences. ‘’If your 5 year old child has khanti you can be sure that he will have a good future.’’
As parents and teachers we know that patience is one of the most important and yet most challenging requirements in raising children. How many times do we hear ourselves say – or think – ‘’I am losing my patience!’’ In the teaching of children we not only need to control our temper, but also patiently resist the urge to ‘give in’ to unreasonable demands. We all know how difficult this is at times when, tired and fed up, we think ‘’OK, OK, have another cookie! Anything for an easy life!’’ By helping children appreciate the value of waiting, by delaying their gratification, we are teaching patience.
We should use every opportunity to point out the results of their patience, or lack of it, reflecting back to the child without judgement. ‘’You waited patiently for your turn and now you are playing so happily!’’ Having consistently applied rules at home and school that have been agreed upon with the child gives her the opportunity to practise self-control instead of interrupting whenever she wants or watching cartoons without a time limit.
Each day things happen we do not want and things we want do not happen. Khanti enables us to respond to the ups and downs in life with thoughtfulness and composure, creating the space and possibility for positive change to take place. Khanti is a truly wise habit. It will earn us respect and admiration from others and create success and happiness for ourselves.
We are celebrating our month of school-wide science activities this Friday with our annual Science Fair. P1 to P6 students will be setting up science stations around the school to present their science experiments and discoveries to their classmates who will visit in rotation. Parents are welcome to drop by any time between 9.00am and 11.30am.
Accompanied by familiar Thai tunes sung by Panyaden music teacher, Kru Tee, our P2,3 and 5-6 students gave light shoulder and arm massages they learnt at school for their visit to Baan Thammapakorn today. They also helped to serve food to the senior citizens of the home. This visit is part of Panyaden School’s student community service in Chiang Mai.
Panyaden celebrated Her Majesty The Queen’s birthday (known as Mother’s Day in Thailand) today with song and tributes to all mothers. We also planted rice to honour Her Majesty on her special day. See photos on the blog and Facebook.
1 – 7 Aug, 1pm– 4pm daily.
Do drop by to browse or buy a book for your child!
Workshop for Parents on Student Behaviour Management
Thursday 8 August, 3:45pm to 5pm
We will run a workshop for parents to explain our approach to discipline and behaviour management next Thursday after school. There will be staff on the playground to supervise children. Please note the start time of 3:45pm. The workshop will take place in the school canteen. We hope to see you there.
Master Viriya wrapped up ‘perseverance’ today with letters from our students about how they practiced the wise habit at school. Then in came Master Khanti to tell a story of an unflappable farmer calmly facing life’s challenges to illustrate this week’s new wise habit, Khanti or being patient and tolerant.
Our students have been learning about and practising the wise habit Viriya. Here is some information about Viriya which we hope you find useful.
Viriya (pronounced wi‐ri‐ya) is a very important virtue in Buddhism, commonly translated as “perseverance”, or “diligent effort”. It can be defined as an attitude of gladly engaging in wholesome activities and staying with them in order to accomplish the desired results. It is the mind intent on being unshaken and not giving up. It supports the otherwise habits, because making progress is impossible without resolution, and is the virtue that follows chanda, for you first need motivation to be able to put forth diligent effort.
Viriya originates from the Sanskrit vira which means ‘hero’ and, as such, we can see viriya as the act of conjuring forth the qualities of a hero. Viriya is identified in Buddhist teachings as a critical component of a number of qualities that lead to happiness and liberation of the mind, such as the five spiritual faculties (indriya) and the ten “perfections” (parami). It is also associated with Right Effort, one part of the Noble Eightfold Path, which identifies four types of right effort:
‐ to prevent negative, unwholesome states of mind from arising ‐ to abandon them if they have arisen ‐ to generate positive, wholesome states not yet existing ‐ to maintain them without lapse, causing them to develop and to reach full growth.
Viriya has to emerge from your heart, from a place of right intention and in balance with other wise habits, such as patience (khanti), concentration (samathi), awareness (sati) and wise reflection (yoniso manasikara). If we put our energy and effort into actions without the right mind we will cause more harm than good. As Venerable Ajahn Pasanno writes in A Dhamma Compass, “while it is important to put forth effort it is also important to slacken off at times. If you are always pushing, the mind can get on edge, restless and unsettled. We need to gauge and reflect on what is appropriate effort.’’
Venerable Ajahn Jayasaro explains the role of viriya in education. ‘’While it is important to be relaxed when we are learning, we also have to teach perseverance and determination. Enthusiasm (chanda) leads to perseverance (viriya) which leads to concentration (samathi) which leads to skilful use of the mind (yoniso manasikara). If we have chanda we are eager to know, learn the truth and value what we do. From there viriya will occur and be followed by patience and tolerance towards any obstacles we find in our way.” When the mind is motivated yet patient, we are more able to make decisions calmly and with wisdom.
We can encourage our children to reflect on how they feel after completing a task with perseverance. To encourage greater effort, we can try setting mini‐goals on the way to achieving a greater task, extending the distance between these steps as the child gets older or gets better at cultivating effort. And, of course, we must lead by example with our own displays of viriya. When we see others refusing to give up despite obstacles and setbacks, it can be very inspiring.
Having desire to do something is good because it gets us going, but actually sustaining effort and energy is where a lot of the hard work is. We might have the desire to get off the sofa and get some exercise and even make a start, but in order to achieve the desired long term results such as weight loss or fitness, we need to keep at it!