A Thai role model and mentor

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Khun Apichat is the Headteacher of Baan Huay Sapad School in Chiang Mai province in northern Thailand.  I have had the fortune to know and work with Khun Apichat for the last six years on student centred service learning projects.  His collaboration is one of the most influential and effective partnerships that I have been able to forge since working in Thailand for the last 15 years.  The amazing thing is my Thai is virtually non-apparent and his level of English is improving all the time but not at a level you would expect to be able to coordinate such projects effectively but I have total confidence and respect for his ability to make things happen and the manner in which he achieves this.  I have met many school leaders over the years and Khun Apichat has to be one of the very best – I do not need him to be fluent in the English language or to be educated and trained as a teacher in the UK – to know this.  To me he role models the best of what a lead learner should be – he is confident but reserved, extremely hard-working but calm, always present but never the centre of attention.  What I admire the most about him is that he understands the importance of community and bringing them into his school to be part of the learning and the teaching.  Everyone respects him and he is always prepared to roll up his sleeves, pick up a hoe or a shovel and do the same work as everyone else.  Since October 2010 he can be heard saying “We Walk Together” which has become a kind of mantra for him and how he believes in education and collaboration, very rare within the Thai system.  Khun Apichat is someone I will always ‘walk’ with and I look forward to taking my family to visit him and his school community later in the year, watch this space…

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One thought on “A Thai role model and mentor

  1. Pingback: Baan Maelid – a magical place in the hills | Global Citizenship Award

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