10 to know in education in the UAE in 2017

In celebration of ten years serving the global education community we are highlighting ten to know in education in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) in 2017. The UAE was selected since the founder has been based here the majority of the last ten years. Each person will be shared throughout this year. Our fourth person to know is Shaun Robison.



Shaun Robison is an entrepreneurial, senior education leader who has delivered a range of projects in the GCC education sector.

Shaun has worked with investors, operating companies, consultants, teachers and government regulators to plan, license and deliver start-up projects with large Cap-Ex requirements. Shaun is passionate about education and entrepreneurship and has an excellent mix of commercial and educational competencies, having written feasibility studies, financially modelled schools and early learning centers, and opened them in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

He has a full working knowledge of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), the UAE Ministry of Education (MOE), the Lusail City Real Estate Development Company and the MOE in Qatar. Before working for BBD Education, Shaun was the Head of School Development for Sobha Developers and managed the opening of Hartland International School, a premium British Curriculum School in Dubai. Shaun also oversaw the opening of the IDEA Early Learning Center in Victory Heights, Dubai and serves as a governor to the Center.

Shaun brings digital, project management and marketing strengths to BBD Education. He has established networks of tens of thousands of teachers and school leaders, throughout the GCC. These networks provide a strong foundation for BBD’s activities in teacher recruitment, senior staff search, research and communications.

Shaun is also a Governor for IDEA Early Learning Center, the Co-Founder of the Education Intelligence Group and the Co-Founder of the UAE Learning Network. Shaun is a Research Associate with Newcastle University and a member of the British Educational Research Association. Shaun regularly contributes to the Education Matters show on Dubai Eye.

Twitter: @Shaun_Robison

Inspiring video of the ‘Handshake Teacher’ and his fifth grade goes viral


Barry White, Jr. is a fifth grade English teacher in Charlotte, North Carolina. Earlier this month, he shared a video taken of him greeting his students in the morning before class. The video became an overnight hit, shared thousands of times, and Barry has since appeared on The Today Show and Good Morning America.

You can watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUQIARSN3ag

At KDSL Global we were lucky enough to catch up with Barry and ask him a few questions about his life as a teacher. 


When you watch the video, it’s impossible not to smile and to feel how much your students are enjoying this interaction with you. Why do you think they love it so much?My students love the message behind the handshakes more so the handshake itself. The handshake represents a personal moment that we both can share every day. They understand and appreciate the time and effort going into making a personalized handshake with each one of them and remembering it. They know I actually care even with a simple gesture such as a handshake.

What other ways can teachers reach out and engage with their students at the beginning of class/while teaching them? 
Building rapport with your students come in many different forms. It can be a simple compliment (clothes, academics, etc). As a teacher we are trained to be observant, this allows us to spot any changes happening with our students. Use this to leverage relationship building. Teachers can also leave notes on student’s desks for the next day. Simple printable signs that can encourage them to be the best student they can be that day.


Do you ever have a kid not wanting to do the handshake with you, refusing to do it? What are your strategies for working with kids who are difficult? 
Some children are a little shy and working their way out of it slowly but surely. Handshakes are not mandatory in my classroom. I allow students to opt-in if they feel comfortable enough. Through my classroom management techniques, I set the expectations and reinforce them with positive narration. For example: if the expectation is Level 0 voice and tracking the speaker, I will say Billy is level 0, Shawn is tracking the speaker. This allows the expectations to be heard in the classroom, so if a student is not meeting the expectation they will be given a consequence. There is no push back, because my voice does not change when giving a consequence, and due to the expectations being set firmly in the classroom. I let students know I care about them too much to allow them to fail or not meet expectations. Therefore I will consequence them to make sure they succeed. Once this message is clear and consistently affirmed, they buy into the concept. We have what we call “growth mindset” concepts applied in the classroom. Instead of getting upset at a consequence and blowing up, the student uses a growth mindset and learns from that mistake.


Are teachers and trainee teachers in the USA encouraged to develop original, personalized and fun ways of connecting with their students, rather than just focusing on the curriculum and exam grades? 
In some places, I believe teachers are encouraged to build rapport with their students. Particularly in my school district, we are constantly encouraged to build meaningful relationships and establish high expectations. We are allowed the freedom to express our creativity and be innovative in the classroom.



Thalia Suzuma
KDSL Global
Website: www.kdslglobal.com
Twitter: @KDSL07
Facebook: KDSL Global


KDSL Global Releases White Paper on Next Generation Science Standards in MENA American Curriculum Schools

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DUBAI, UAE, February 14, 2017 – KDSL Global today released its first white paper which examines the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in American curriculum schools in the MENA region and in the USA. KDSL Global is a USA and UAE-based leading learning organization focused on empowering educators and education businesses globally. This white paper is entitled “Next Generation Science Standards in MENA American Curriculum Schools.”

Kevin Simpson, KDSL Global Managing Director states, “Throughout the MENA region, schools and educators are working very hard to implement the Next Generation Science Standards. KDSL Global felt it was opportune to discuss the status of the implementation process in the US and in the region, as well as spotlight tools and resources for policymakers, school administrators, and teachers to create awareness around NGSS and help successfully deploy the science standards.” The white paper features the results of an NGSS survey administered to MENA educators in 2016 that tabulated their impressions of the standards. In addition, there are resources educators and administrators can use to support implementation.

Dr. Gabler, NGSS writer and KDSL Global Science Consultant added, “The NGSS are for all students and provide a framework for moving student learning from just ‘learning about’ to students ‘figuring out’.” Dr. Sunder, KDSL Global Associate Partner, agrees,”Implementing the NGSS in the classroom: it’s about the exciting creative struggle of exploring and engaging in scientific discovery together.” Sunder has recently collaborated with numerous groups on a document entitled “Aligning the NGSS with the IB curricula.” More can be found here http://www.ibo.org/news/news-about-the-ib/aligning-the-next-generation-science-standards-ngss-with-ib-curricula/.

The white paper can be downloaded at: https://tinyurl.com/jtfvvj7
The team has an NGSS Institute coming up in March at Clarion School in Dubai. Visit http://kdslglobal.com/NGSS%20Institute.pdffor more information.


+971 50 745 5827
Kevin Simpson, kevin@kdslglobal.com


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A desire to save on costs, experience travel with a local flair, make new friendships, and experience peace of mind are some of the reasons why educators are embracing the home sharing concept.

DUBAI, 13 FEBRUARY 2017 – Educators Home Share Pte. Ltd. (EHS) is a new contender intending to thrive in the global sharing economy. Backed by a great deal of IT and international education experience, the founding partners are keen to serve the national and international educator niche market. Most people are familiar with the home exchange concept. Home sharing is simply an expansion of this which includes a wider range of hosting possibilities: hosts can choose to be at home or not while guests enjoy their stay. Although it is preferred, members do not have to list their home when joining. Since its official website launch (www.educatorshomeshare.com) in 2016, hundreds of educators residing in more than 40 countries have already created an account. With an offer of a Free Lifetime Membership to the first 1000 members who sign up, EHS is confident that right from the start, members will have plenty to choose from in terms of home sharing opportunities. Free trial memberships will also be available after those initial 1000 Free Lifetime Memberships are claimed. KDSL Global is now collaborating with Educators Home Share as a promotional partner.

In creating the foundation for its community, EHS believes that focusing exclusively on educators allows for an already ‘built-in’ degree of trust that all EHS members can enjoy. To make sure that only current, retired and former educators join, the sign up process involves a standard school verification to be completed before members can apply for a home share. Non-standard school verifications can be carried out as well for educators who do not have a work history in a traditional setting such as a school, university, etc.

Educators Home Share is an online platform connecting educators worldwide. It enables guest educators to book unique home stays from local and international educator hosts, saving them money and giving them a chance to have a different kind of travel experience. Host educators enjoy peace of mind during their own travels knowing someone is caring for their home, plants and/or pets. Catering to the travel needs of educators, Educators Home Share aims to have every country of the world listed as a destination on its platform.

For more information, please contact Michel Leroux at admin@educatorshomeshare.com.




KDSL Global interviews Limitless Education

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Limitless Education is a consultancy with a difference: focusing on creativity and imagination, with an aim to support all children achieve their dreams.

We recently got the chance to interview Rachel Lloyd and Kelly Seymour, the dynamic duo behind Limitless Education. Kelly and Rachel are experienced Early Years practitioners and leaders who specialize in empowerment and fearless leadership. With a refreshing and remarkable mindset they support educators in clearing their limiting beliefs and fears which enables limitless and unique teaching philosophies and practices to be developed.

What hardships have you faced when developing Limitless Education?

The biggest difficulty was confronting our own limiting beliefs around starting a business. We absolutely love running our imaginative teacher workshops and student empowerment retreats, this is where we are in our comfort zone. However there were some limiting beliefs around making a living out of what you love. The core message of Limitless Education is that we support youth to achieve their dreams and become immersed in their passions. So when our own limiting beliefs were challenged we constantly reminded ourselves of our ‘limitless education’ philosophy.

How fulfilling has it been to create and foster Limitless Education?

It has been an amazing journey and one of true self-discovery. The power of our thoughts and beliefs has been evident and we have plenty of opportunities for growth and self-reflection. The most fulfilling moments are when we are running the workshops and we start to notice the beautiful change in the teachers and students we work with. This is the moment we look at each other with awe and say ‘Can you believe this is our job?!’

We are now at the point where we need to foster this philosophy to ensure its sustainability and are in the process of writing a book, which is a step by step guide to support educators to awaken imagination and creativity in their settings.

What inspired you to travel the path that led you to Limitless Education?

We had created something quite magical in our early years department. We had developed a unique concept of ‘the imaginative school’. We knew it was something special and our academic results were going through the roof. Inspectors were blown away with what we had created and reinforced that they had never seen anything like this before. It was at this point we knew we had to share this philosophy with other educational establishments and created ‘limitless education’ with the aim to awaken imagination and creativity in schools.

It was a pleasure interviewing the pair and we found the responses to the questions really enlightening.  Rachel and Kelly readily admitted their fears about starting their own business and managed to temper their anxiety with their passion and commitment to what they believed in. Passion is such an important part of education – it should always shine through when inspiring young people. Their forward-thinking nature and drive to make their system sustainable brings real hope to the future of education, and their book is a clear example of their evolving presentation style, allowing them to spread their ideas further. Finally, it seems that like many other successful enterprises, Limitless Education was sparked by a single great idea: the imaginative school. And from this spark, their whole philosophy worked itself out leading to positive feedback from inspectors – no small triumph.

To learn more about Limitless Education visit http://www.limitlesseducation.net/.


Thalia Suzuma and Matthew Diprose
KDSL Global
Website: www.kdslglobal.com
Twitter: @KDSL07
Facebook: KDSL Global

KDSL Global Founder will serve as a mentor


KDSL  Global Founder Kevin Simpson has been selected to serve as a mentor at the Smithsonian Science Education Center and Shell Oil Company’s Teacher Leadership Summit: Attracting, Retaining, and Developing a Diverse STEM Teaching Workforce this February 2017 at Howard University in Washington, D.C. At this summit, teams of educators will create a plan for attracting, retaining, and developing a diverse STEM teaching workforce in their districts to become catalysts for systemic change.

10 to know in education in the UAE in 2017

In celebration of ten years serving the global education community we are highlighting ten to know in education in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) in 2017. The UAE was selected since the founder has been based here the majority of the last ten years. Each person will be shared throughout this year. Our third person to know is Rhonda Hearns.

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Rhonda G. Hearns has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Jackson State University and a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction in Reading from Prairie View A&M University in the United States of America. Rhonda has nearly 15 years of experience in the field of education covering the areas of teaching, curriculum, early intervention, and leadership. She has taught students of various languages, backgrounds and abilities. She worked as an Irlen Syndrome Screener and Dyslexia Specialist, where she developed a passion for struggling readers and the importance of early learning. Currently, Rhonda works as an Early Childhood Coordinator in Dubai, United Arab Emirates at Collegiate American School. She firmly believes providing a strong foundation for children in the early years has a direct impact on their academic success; and collaborating with other educators is an essential part of that success.

In addition, Rhonda has served as integral part of the Early Childhood Leader’s Forum hosted by Professional Minds LLC in Dubai. This forum provides professional learning with a goal of improving leadership practices.  Rhonda collaborates with Patricia Mezu to engage a diverse group of leaders with a focus on sharing and collaborating based on topics of interest. This work was shared at the GCC ASCD Connected Community Teacher Summit in 2016.

To learn more about Rhonda’s school where she serves with a vision to  empower students with a holistic, rigorous and international education for success in an ever changing world visit http://www.casdubai.com/.