About Continuing Education - Zaw Zaw Oo

Where does continual education happen? Why is it important for us, as a community and as educators, to support others reach their full potential?

Pitching at Tokushima Indigo Socks - Shikoku League

Pitching at Tokushima Indigo Socks - Shikoku League

Just recently, Zaw Zaw Oo, the first Myanmar professional sports player in Japan, was invited to a dinner with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Prime Minister Abe’s official dinner-- a guest amongst diplomats and ambassadors. During the dinner, he was personally introduced to Daw Suu from the Prime Minister, jovially and with pride. In that moment and many before, Zaw Zaw represents the dream of becoming a professional baseball athlete in Japan; and the ability to transcend international borders through sports. There was a deep understanding of the hard work that Zaw Zaw put into his dreams and into the betterment of baseball in his own country. Furthermore, as a pitcher in the Tokushima Indigo Socks team from the Shikoku Island League, he campaigns to solve human rights problems.

Zaw Zaw met Mr. and Mrs. Iwasaki years ago, when he was 11-years-old. He was educated in baseball and its related techniques; but he learned more than just sports. Through the youth baseball program at Khayay, he also learned about resilience and self-management; and how to integrate sports, health, and education for personal success. Through the guidance of Mr. and Mrs. Iwasaki’s program, he was able to access emotional development lessons and programs that did not exist elsewhere in Myanmar-- especially for youth and young adults. He stated that through the support from Khayay and the Iwasakis’, he could come this far, all the way to Japan to play baseball; and that he is even more determined to try his hardest, so that he can continue strengthening baseball and education for youth in Myanmar.

When we think of education, we think of teaching. But education is so much more. It is reaching the depth, the potential of every single human being; and letting them explore, embrace and embody the tools that will help them make their dreams a possibility. Education happens beyond the classroom. It happens when we play sports, when we collaborate, and when we meet people and have conversations with them. Education happens everywhere, because as humans, we are continuously learning.

Learn more about Zaw Zaw Oo through the Myanmar Baseball Fan Club page, or check out his interview with MNTV!

A Very Special Gift

On January 24, 2016, an unusual and special gift arrived all the way from an apartment tucked in the Upper West Side in Manhattan, New York to Yangon, Myanmar. It traveled several weeks on a ship, across oceans, was held in customs for a few weeks, perfectly sealed in an air and humidity free crate until it finally arrived at the Khayay School on a hot but beautiful afternoon of February 16. This special gift is a charming grand piano donated by Kimball Gallagher, a world traveling classical pianist to the Khayay School in homage of his lifelong mentor, Joseph Smith. It is believed to be the first grand piano ever to be shipped from New York to Yangon.

Joseph Smith's Piano

Joseph Smith's Piano

Kimball Gallagher

Kimball Gallagher

Kimball Gallagher is a classical pianist from New York and also one of the co-founders and artistic director of Myanmar Music Festival, an international classical music festival for aspiring Myanmar artists. He has risen to prominence as one of the most dynamic and multifaceted pianists on the stage today. Gallagher’s sold out 2008 debut at Carnegie Hall launched his international 88-Concert Tour, blazing a trail across all 7 continents appearing in 30 countries, while performing in distinguished venues and intimate gatherings all over the world, from the Kennedy Center to Kabul, Bombay to Boulder, Chicago to Shanghai, and Tuscany to Tunisia. Highlights of recent tour seasons have included Gallagher’s debuts at the Cairo Opera House, the National Recital Hall in Taipei, the United Nations in New York, and the World Bank, as well as in private homes and more exotic venues throughout Egypt, Myanmar, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Mongolia, Thailand, Fiji, China, and India. The 88 Concert Tour concluded with another sold out recital by Gallagher at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall on April 13, 2015, in New York City. With this culmination he has launched 88 International an organization based in New York which initiates and supports international music projects, including the Myanmar Music Festival. The number 88 alludes to the 88 keys of the piano. Mr. Gallagher is a graduate of Rice University and The Juilliard School. http://kimballgallagher.com/

It is on his 88 Concert tour that he initially came to Yangon in 2013 for a short visit and returned again in 2014 to visit the Khayay School. Impressed by the school's innovative curriculum and philosophy, he and another pianist, Kaiyin Huang from Taiwan, decided to establish the Myanmar Music Festival, in partnership with the Khayay School. Together, the festival and the school work to foster Myanmar's emerging talents and build a strong music education curriculum for the Khayay school. 

Aside from being a world class performer, Kimball is also a great piano teacher himself who has taught many students all around the world including students from Afghanistan where music was illegal under the Taliban regime. He firmly believes in the importance of arts, culture and quality music education in developing societies. Struck by the sudden death of his lifelong mentor Joseph Smith in early 2015, Kimball decided to donate his grand piano to the Khayay School so that students of the school and the festival can enjoy the touch and the sound of a quality instrument. 

Joseph Smith (Photo Credit Peter Schaaf)

Joseph Smith (Photo Credit Peter Schaaf)

Joseph Smith is an important figure in Kimball's musical development and was his piano teacher since the age of 13. "He is especially known for presenting neglected works through performances, lectures, recordings, articles, broadcasts and editions. He has edited eleven piano anthologies, recorded ten CDs, and written for numerous publications. For two years, he had a monthly feature on NPR’s Performance Today.  Stuart Isacoff’s Natural History of the Pianocalls Smith a “walking encyclopedia of the piano.”  Among Smith’s special interests: early romanticism (Field, Weber), early twentieth century American music (Griffes), music and folklore (Grieg and Grainger)." http://josephsmithpianist.com/

His Baldwin resides now at Khayay and is one of the pianos which Kimball used to play growing up. Kimball is hoping that this piano will continue to serve the next generation of aspiring and talented musicians in Myanmar.

Playing it for the first time at Khayay.

Playing it for the first time at Khayay.

The school is extremely honored and grateful to be receiving such a beautiful and meaningful gift and hope to create a music center in homage of Joseph Smith in the near future. The Khayay School is now the only general education school in Yangon to our knowledge to have a grand piano. We hope to keep developing our musical curriculum and programs more and more as part of the school's whole curriculum. An inaugural concert is currently being planned where we hope to invite you all and share more about the piano, Kimball and Joseph Smith. So please stay tuned for more information!

Exploring Diversity in Education

Dear Khayay followers,

I would like to share today a piece written by one of our very own who is currently pursing her masters' degree in Learning, Technology and Design at Stanford's graduate school of education. This is a good read for those who wonder what is happening behind the doors of the Khayay school and the educational philosophy we teach by.

Hope you enjoy the read!

Click here ----> https://medium.com/synapse/exploring-diversity-in-education-b0be6cc33812#.xi67yossz

End of the Year! (Japanese)








End of the Year! (English)

Dear Khayay Families,
The end of the school year has finally arrived! On Friday May 29th, we will celebrate the Aozora students’ graduation from kindergarten to primary school, and the Kirara and Hoshi students’ moving-on to KG. We welcome all of you to join us for this wondrous occasion. 
Around this time of year, the teachers’ hearts ache and they tear up as they prepare to send their students off to the next stage. Since August, they have shared many treasured moments with each and every child, laughing and learning together, holding them when they are sad and guiding them throughout and throughout. Within this joyous yet bittersweet end-of-the-year feeling, we can see and feel how much our teachers have dedicated themselves wholeheartedly to their students.
We will send out more specific details about graduation in a separate sheet. Please refer to this for more information.
The Khayay Music Show marked a new stage of development for many. From this one moment, the confidence and ability of the students soared.  The Aozora students gained more self-esteem and motivation to challenge and do things. They can observe their entire environment while communicating comfortably and confidently with their peers and the school. The Kirara and Hoshi students have nurtured deeper friendships and understand relationships even more, never forgetting to always have fun in both their learning and playing. The Soyokaze and Sazanami students are able to reflect on their own opinions, imagination and situations, and can distinguish them from actual events going on in their environment. The Tsubomi and Tampopo children’s imagination have grown immensely and they are able to come up with wonderfully creative stories and fantasies. The Shizuku children embrace their environment, and openly and bravely try to interact with it. Lastly, the primary school students recognize their own greatness and the greatness of others; the importance of peace; hopes and dreams; and self-motivation. Their motivation and willingness to learn, and experience more, are growing because they know that learning different subjects at school supplements all of this.
The Khayay School is not just a language school. The Khayay School exists to nurture confidence, patience, high self-worth and social empathy within each child, with the understanding that co-existence and working together can create a happier society. Regardless of any differences, we foster the love and human dignity in each child with our socio-emotional and peace-incorporated education.
Through different languages, we learn and embrace each other’s culture and society and grow as deeply empathetic people—while building resilience in the face of challenges and differences that life may throw at us. We wish for our students to hold these values in their hearts and become leaders wherever they may go.
Some parents may think that their child needs to be only English-proficient; however, if we overlook the children’s ability to build empathetic relationships and resilience, they will face more difficulties in reaching their full potential of whom they aspire to be in their life. We want our students to believe in their own potential while keeping their young spiritedness.
In this year and the past years, Khayay parents who understand our philosophy have always supported and walked alongside us, and I look forward to the years to come with your support. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you. We will continue into the future with this philosophy in mind because we want to keep treasuring this world, our earth and the universe we live in.
Every year, we learn about ecology in summer school. This year, primary school students, including students who will be first graders in August, will have summer school until 2pm. Please have them bring a lunchbox to school everyday. To prepare for first grade, we will have fun math activities and basic Myanmar language learning in the afternoon.
Like every year, the teachers have workshops, lectures and learning sessions in the afternoon of summer school to plan next year’s curriculum and discuss how they can make each child’s education even better. I hope parents can recognize the passion that every teacher and staff member of The Khayay School have in creating the best learning environment for your child.
Thank you very much and see you at Graduation!

Welcome to the Khayay School's Blog!

Dear Khayay community and followers,

The school team is happy to introduce you to the Khayay blog!

We are a diverse, positive and highly-motivated group of educators, passionate about innovating and designing education for the next generation of global citizens. The Khayay school is where we work closely as a team and where each one of us actively contributes in our own way. We try to be as representative and respectful of the diversity around us while we teach. 

However, a child's education is never complete without the warm support and understanding of families. The Khayay community lives thanks to understanding parents and families. So here, we would like to share with you news and snippets of what happens and what we notice at school once you drop off your child. Hopefully, you would also be inspired by the positivity of the children as much as we are! This section will be restricted to currently enrolled students' parents in order to protect privacy.

This blog will also be an open space for our school team to share with you, some reflective writings on education in hopes that you get to know a little more about the Khayay School's philosophy and vision at each entry.

The team will take turns updating and writing from different perspectives that could enrich all of us. The languages we will be writing in, will also vary depending on the writer's preferred language.

So, let your Khayay journey begin!