ACADEMIA NUTS
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The wining teams from Waree Chiang Mai School

Learning from the earth

Three innocent words not to use in an email

International teaching jobs on the web

The wining teams from Waree Chiang Mai School

Winners in the 4th level division Nopparat Intarasak, Pongpat Saiwanna, Pariwat Kaopong, Artcharaporn Chaisuk and Kritiya Chumchit.

The dance team from Waree Chiang Mai School also received the second runner- up prize for the primary school level. Shown here are Nattakoon Pimsarn, Julee Phulaiyao, Natsinee Thananchaikarn, Thayida Sarnpanich. This dance team was instructed by teacher Sirikanda Phonimdaeng and the award presentation ceremony was held at Central Airport Plaza.

Waree Chiang Mai School was rewarded with two prizes for a quiz competition about sufficiency economy theories.
The event was organized by the Association of private schools of Chiang Mai, and the Chiang Mai Provincial Administrative Organization. The academic skill contest coincided with the exhibition on education entitled, “The people of Chiang Mai praise in honor of His Majesty the King on his 80th birthday anniversary this year”

(3rd level) First runner-up prize winners shown here are Warapol Suriya, Pornpavee Rerkvichai, Plat Rakchuimkong, Sarun Limpreedeekul and Kamolrat Tochinda.


Learning from the earth

Prem Center opens new educational farm

Austin Kilaru
Several weeks ago grade eleven students at the Prem Tinsulanonda International School gathered outside the cafeteria in the morning rain. Instead of wearing their usual blue uniforms, the students wore old t-shirts and sneakers, prepared for a service project at a local organic farm. This farm, in fact, was extremely local. The students only needed to walk a few hundred meters past a cricket pitch and tennis courts to arrive at Prem Center’s new educational farm.

The smells and sights of a farm were a surprise, but as Sifan Zeng remarked, “Sometimes you have to learn things the hard way. You learn what people have to do to make food, and where food comes from.”
For many of the eleventh graders, the service project was a first visit to not only the Prem farm, but any farm at all. The initial tasks were to dig a new compost pit and build furniture. Though the work was difficult, the students eagerly shoveled compost and sawed lumber. The smells and sights of a farm were a surprise, but as Sifan Zeng remarked, “Sometimes you have to learn things the hard way. You learn what people have to do to make food, and where food comes from.” And for the most part, getting their hands dirty was fun. Another student, Kiran Delneuville, joked, “We smelled like roses—it was something that actually made us want to shower!”
The Prem farm is a working model of sustainable agriculture. It contains many elements of a larger organic farm, but on a smaller scale. Rows intended for different crops and plants surround an orchard. The trees are currently bearing delicious, organic lemons. There are pens with pigs and goats, though no animals are slaughtered. The farm is still unfinished, but it is already a place where students at PTIS can learn a great deal.
The inspiration for the farm comes from His Majesty the King. The King’s agricultural projects have brought benefits to millions of people in rural Thailand. These projects emphasize small-scale agriculture, appropriate farming technologies, sustainable use of water resources, and environmental conservation. In addition to the biology and chemistry of farming, these are the concepts that the Prem farm aims to teach.
The farm became a reality with the arrival of Ajarn Sheena Jackson to campus. Previously, Sheena worked with the Prem Center Magic Eyes Barge, an outdoor environmental educational program that takes students on field-trips along the Chao Phraya River and elsewhere. Having experience with educational organic farms in the past, she looked for a place to start one in Thailand. Fortunately, there was agricultural land already adjacent to Prem Center. Soon the land was cleared and ready for integration with the school.
The idea of sustainability underlies the Prem farm. In recent years, this concept has become only more urgent. Sheena believes it is necessary for young people to interact with the environment and understand how the world operates. “The consumption of food is often completely separated from its production. The farm offers an experience where kids can get a little dirty, but also learn what happens on a farm, where food comes from. It helps them make a connection back to the earth.”
An important part of this education is the passing of traditional knowledge of the land to a new generation, a focus of His Majesty’s Royal Projects. Sheena believes that the farm can help “convince people that using local wisdom can make a better planet now. Rather than relying on the tools of conventional farming, such as pesticides, the students can begin to see other, better ways of doing things.” While these can be taught in a classroom, they are best understood with hands-on experience working with the land. Opportunities found in the Prem farm are rare in Thailand, and its educational benefits are unique.
In addition to environmental education, the farm offers interdisciplinary possibilities across the entire International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum of the school. Students in the IB Diploma and Middle Years Program (MYP) can learn can learn plant cell structure, taxonomy of species, and soil chemistry, but also the historical, economic, and sociological aspects of food production. Younger students in the IB Primary Years Program (PYP) can explore the ecosystem of the farm, gaining valuable and fun experiences in the outdoors.
The choice of crops also will contribute to the education of students. All of the plants and vegetables necessary to make specific meals will be planted together. Students can harvest long beans, pumpkins, and basil, for example, and cook a dish from these ingredients alone. Sheena also hopes that organic produce from the farm can contribute to meals in the Prem cafeteria. Students could eat these fresh fruits and vegetables knowing exactly where the food was produced. An additional row of food will be planted for local charities.
A final opportunity the farm provides students is community service. As part of the Creativity, Action, and Service (CAS) component of the IB curriculum, students must gain experience outside of their academic education. The hard work of students at the farm helps serve their larger community. In their trip to the farm, the eleventh graders earned service hours toward their CAS requirements of the IB Diploma. Their trip, part of the first term Day Out program for the entire senior school, was only one of many activities planned for other grades.
In the spirit of service, eleventh grader Alexis Cook commented, “After I finished working at the farm, I felt like I had done something useful.” Another student, Yuxin Xu, remarked, “I loved learning how to build the furniture for the farm. It is a good thing to know how to do.” Supervising the field trip, Sheena Jackson noted their enthusiasm despite the unfamiliarity of the farm and the difficulty of the work, commenting, “It was awesome to see different parts of the farm completed with their help.” The students also picked some of the first produce of the farm, taking fresh lemons home with them.
The Prem farm should be planted and completely ready by the beginning of January. In the meantime, students at PTIS will already enjoy and benefit from the new opportunity just down the road.


Three innocent words not to use in an email

MailChimp conducted a study of its customers’ email campaigns and found that some of the most harmless words can spell disaster when included in email subject lines. Because of bulging inboxes and an endless torrent of spam, the study found that readers treat new emails as guilty until proven innocent. The study concluded that if an email marketer wants their emails to get read, both by friends and business contacts, there are a few words that a marketer would be well served to avoid.
Based on the results of this study, MailChimp has created a list of the top 3 words to avoid in a subject line based on analysis of over 200 million emails:
Help
Never put the word “help” in the subject title. It may be like a crime in progress where passer-bys keep on walking, or maybe most readers have just reached their respective capacity to “help”, but most readers do not respond to this word. The reluctance to open “help” messages may also stem from well-known scams asking for assistance. The most common source for these scams is Nigeria. You can read more about email scams in the New York Times.
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While it may be counterintuitive, the stronger the commercial pitch in the subject line, the less likely it’s going to be read. Consumers have had to become savvy in navigating their email inbox - as soon as an email smells like a sleazy offer, it’s zapped with the delete button.
Reminder
Always avoid using the word “reminder” in the subject line. If a marketer needs to send out a reminder, MailChimp recommends avoiding the word “reminder” and, instead, communicate in the subject line that there is useful information inside that the reader is going to want. Analogous to “reminder” is repeating the same subject line for a particular event and sending out several emails in advance. The first email may get read, but after that it’s splitsville.
The three innocuous words above are joining the rank of other all-too-popular spammy words like: Free, Sex, Cialis, etc. Not only will an email not get read if the subject line or body is peppered with these spam words, odds are it won’t even get to the reader. And getting an HTML email to the targeted inbox has become even more of a challenge, thanks to firewalls and spam filters. The net result is an obliterated email that never gets to the intended recipient.
By avoiding the three words mentioned above, email marketers should be more successful in getting their intended audience to open their emails.


International teaching jobs on the web

TeachAbroad.com, GoAbroad .com’s directory of international teaching positions, is now enhanced to become a more extensive resource with improved usability, making it easier for its millions of visitors to find the newest paid teaching positions and the most comprehensive teaching resources.
GoAbroad.com, provider of the most comprehensive international education and alternative travel directories on the Internet, has launched its newly remodeled website, TeachAbroad.com, now designed to constantly provide fresh international teaching positions and resources for teachers.
TeachAbroad.com has been connecting potential teachers to different international teacher placements worldwide since 1999. Jobs and programs are available for English teachers, volunteer and intern teachers, and teachers of language, academics, and arts and skills. To adapt to the changing demands of its growing number and variety of visitors, TeachAbroad.com is now enhanced to become an extensive resource with improved usability.
The remodeled TeachAbroad .com has a new section, Hot Jobs, which brings to the surface content that is most valuable to its visitors - paid teaching job openings. The Hot Jobs section makes it even easier and faster for teachers to find the newest paid teaching jobs available in different countries. TeachAbroad.com also addresses the increased demand for English teachers by prominently displaying TEFL Certification Programs and the TEFL Calendar along with the Hot Jobs. The TEFL Calendar allows visitors to look at a TEFL course based on the dates and location of the course and the TEFL provider, making planning their TEFL certification easier.
In addition to these features, TeachAbroad.com’s Teaching Resources now has an interactive section where teachers can share:
- Teaching ideas - creative ideas for effective teaching and for spicing up a boring class
- Teaching Strategies - approaches to teaching concerns like time management, handling large classes, coping with language barriers, and other classroom issues
- ESL Resources such as common slang words and idioms
As a comprehensive resource for experienced and new teachers alike, the Teaching Resources has a beginner’s guide, Is Teaching Abroad For You?, which gives the lowdown on requirements, costs, and answers to teaching abroad FAQs. There are also links to online TEFL certification, online teacher training, and weekend TEFL courses.
TeachAbroad.com’s Country Search Option, a common feature among GoAbroad. com’s directories, allows visitors to see available teaching jobs based on their country of interest.