Saturday, April 24, 2010

NESA news

NESA Spring Educators Conference : Bangkok- 27-30 March 2010

Over 650 educators of all grades and disciplines enjoyed the three-and-a-half-day conference, featuring keynotes, half-day institutes and teacher-produced workshops conducted by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas Schools(NESA), at the Royal Orchid Sheraton, on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, Bangkok.

Three of these delegates were from Kodaikanal International School. Rathi Gopinath, Head of Learning Resources, presented a teacher workshop on Differentiated Learning, which was well received by the participants. Soumen Sinha Babu attended the conference as an observer and I attended as the teacher representative for the current academic year.

What was particularly inspiring for all of us was the atmosphere of true professionalism and the give and take with regard to sharing of ideas and professional development, with the child as the centre of the learning process. We interacted with educators from different parts of the region and it was interesting to see that no matter how different we are , culturally, we are all united with regard to educational practices. One of the key notes of this conference was the need to be innovative in a fast-paced world with all kinds of technology at our fingertips, including social internet sites like

The conference commenced with a motivating and enlightening keynote by Heidi Hayes Jacobs : “Becoming a 21st Century International School-Curriculum 21: Provocation, Invigoration and Replacement”; followed by Marcia Tate, who spoke about brain-compatible teaching strategies in “Worksheet Don’t Grow Dendrites”; Tim Tyson who discussed how to meaningfully integrate technology into the 21st century school with, “Making Learning Irresistible”; and finally, a provocative and challenging presentation on how emerging technologies are changing education, entitled, “The Emerging Culture of Teaching and Learning”, by Alan November.

It was a proud moment for all of us when the Community Service Award winners were announced at the Conference and we learned that our very own “Youthrise Movement’ spearheaded by Ananda Boga was one of the winners. We can all take pride in this colossal achievement and celebrate this moment. The Social Experience department has received a sum of $ 750.00 to use for the welfare of the underprivileged.

At this juncture, I would like to thank the school management, especially Mr Kaisar Dopaishi for providing us with the opportunity to spread our wings and come home to share what we have learned with our colleagues. The office bearers of NESA did a magnificent job in making our experience in Bangkok memorable and enriching. In particular, I would like to thank David Chojnacki, Executive Director, Jill Kalamaris, Director of Operations, Anne Marie Zafiropoulos and Brionna Lalis.

The KIS spirit of warmth and hospitality is present even in Bangkok and we were fortunate to have Mrs Maneewan Sungthongchanok, Punnamate's mother and Mrs Hunsa Thumsuwanna, KIS representative, take us on a whirlwind sight- seeing trip of the Pra-kaew Palace, Bangkok on the last day we were there. Thank you, Maneewan and Hunsa for being so kind and warm.

Marsha Joshi
NESA Representative