Located in Chiang Mai, Thailand, Panyaden International School (Panyaden) aims to cultivate an atmosphere, environment, and curriculum in harmony with the Buddhist path to wisdom and happiness. Although Chiang Mai is more than 700 years old, its name means New City. With two million visitors a year, Chiang Mai was chosen in 2014 by TripAdvisor as one of the top tourist destinations in the world. Having lived in Chiang Mai for 26 years, Senior Associate Harry Deelman and his wife and Search Associates partner Margaret have this to say:
The city probably has the best delicious-flavours-for-affordable-money restaurants in the world, thousands of them, offering not only Thai delights but also the cuisines of a hundred other countries and regions. The people are as friendly and caring (and seldom money-driven) as you can find in any well-populated region anywhere worldwide. The climate is very pleasant for more than three-quarters of every year, and the lush green vegetation is loved by most people. A range of both outdoor and indoor activities and performances—from classical music concerts to Muay Thai "kick-boxing"— which will keep all but the most dedicated big-city-lover happy.
About 25,000–30,000 full and part-time expats live in Chiang Mai, most of whom are Chinese, American, French, Japanese, or Korean nationals. This foreign contingent enjoys several English-language magazines, a newspaper, and various clubs, communities, and societies.
With full accreditation by the Ministry of Education, Thailand, and candidacy-pending status for the Western Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation, Panyaden currently enrolls 340 K–8 day and boarding students of 39 nationalities, 40% of whom are Thai and 40% of whom are from North America and the U.K. The total teaching staff of 78 includes 35 teachers from Thailand, 25 from the U.K., and 13 from North America. The school delivers the British national curriculum alongside the International Primary and Middle Years Curriculum leading to the International General Certificate of Secondary Education. The school is a candidate school with the International Baccalaureate Organization to deliver the Middle Years Programme and the Diploma Programme. Panyaden also seeks to help students develop important non-academic skills as well as a sense of morality. The school says,
Success in life . . . is derived not only from a sharp intellect but also from the ability to communicate skillfully, overcome difficulties, manage one’s moods and makes choices based on wisdom, compassion and understanding. Our efforts as teachers must be focused equally on helping children develop inner values as well as responsibility towards the world around them.
Citing the TIME.com article about the positive effects on the brain of multilingualism, Panyaden insists its students learn both English and Thai, with Early Years and Primary-aged students spending 50% of each day immersed in each language. The school adds another reason for the program:
Bilingual learning is proven to not only enhance first language skills and international-mindedness, but also to increase the student’s ability to think in more complex ways.
Panyaden believes that education is key to achieving sustainable development goals, and that, accordingly, its role is to teach students the skills needed to look after our planet properly, to wisely manage our resources, and to assist in developing the local community. The cultivation of the school’s 12 Wise Habits, based on the Buddhist way, is the cornerstone of its sustainability program. Sustainability is a cross-curricular subject within the International Primary and International Middle Years Programmes, wherein students are made aware of issues and inspired “to think critically, innovate, and provide solutions towards more sustainable patterns of living. The school says it “could be the greenest school on earth.”
Panyaden has even incorporated its emphasis on sustainability and the environment into its facilities; the school has followed a building design concept inspired by nature which provides a peaceful and pleasant space for learning. Visually mimicking the antler-fern leaf, the campus was constructed with only natural materials, such as earth and bamboo. Classrooms are naturally cool and well ventilated; therefore, there is no need for air conditioning. The school proudly reports that during construction, the carbon footprint was reduced by 90% when compared to standard construction techniques.
Panyaden is interested in hiring certified singles, interns, and couples, including those with a non-teaching partner. They will also consider exceptional newly-certified candidates and those certified in a non-English speaking country. Teachers needs not possess an academic degree in the subject they will be teaching. Certified candidates up to the age of 59 may obtain a work visa.
The benefits package includes a housing allowance for a choice of “very comfortable” options; annual airfare, including an allowance for dependents; and a moving stipend. Tuition is free for up to two children, with uniforms and the security deposit the responsibility of the teacher(s). Teachers and their children attending the school may enjoy free breakfast, lunch, and snacks. Worldwide health insurance—except for the U.S.—is fully covered and includes life insurance. Finally, a generous professional development fund is allocated for the professional growth of Panyaden staff. This package allows for some nice savings!
To gain access to Panyaden International School’s full profile on the Search Associates database, including a list of all open positions, candidates can apply for membership by clicking here. Candidates already registered can easily access the school prile directly through their dashboards.
Please note: The information presented about this school was valid on the date published. This information may change, and the most up-to-date information can be found on the school profile.