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Guest Thinkers

Why are American School Leaders in Thailand?

This week we are featuring the Thailand for School Leaders Program. Ten school administrators from California have ventured around the globe to lead, learn and share with an international flair. Each is participating in an International Leadership program (and most also completing an independent study program for the Professional Administrative Credential, Tier II, from the University of California, Irvine). As leaders, educators and world citizens; each is participating in a professional development adventure of international experience and professional leadership self-reflection. What better classroom for ‘world-class leaders’ than the world?

What are you doing as a leader to positively affect the global community?

The International Leadership Program in Chiang Mai has been a wonderful experience for us as it has allowed us to escape our Californian school setting and reflect on personal successes, barriers and areas of needed experience in educational leadership. We have had the opportunity to observe and interview leaders in a country that values education and has similar visions for their children.

A very enriching experience …we were able to seek out and interview Thai leaders who are at the forefront of impacting their educational vision and surprisingly their response to: What are you doing to positively affect the global community?…was very similar to that of our own.

Being from opposite sides of the world, from different cultures and lifestyles, we were glad to learn that they have similar concerns. They too are teaching their children about environmental conservation, appropriate uses of technology and cultural appreciation, all of which positively affect the global community.

As leaders we have a responsibility to make our children aware of the impact and effect they can have on the world as an individual, society, or nation. We all have the choice to be involved in affecting the globe in a positive way.

It is refreshing to speak to educators across the world and realize that the world really is a small place, after all. Hopefully, others too are striving towards the same vision.

Paul Birkeland, Assistant Principal, Los Angeles Unified School District
Emily Kirkpatrick, Assistant Principal, Roseland Elementary School District
Support in Chiang Mai, Thailand by R & G Services [email protected]


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