Meet our KDSL Global Intern – Dalal El Kurdi

Dalal El Kurdi was born in Lebanon but grew up in Bahrain in a household where education was a number one priority. In high school, she was the most hard-working student, but nevertheless, she found time to play on sports teams, hold a constant active role in student government, and participate and host MUN (Model United Nations) and YLC (Young Leaders Conference). She cares greatly about the environment and participated with a colleague in a national activity to promote recycling named “Recycling in School Life” organized by the Gulf Petro-Chemical Industries Company in Bahrain. Their idea was awarded first place. She also received a full scholarship from Microsoft Technology Associates after being tested and receiving a high score to take a course in MTA Windows Operating System Fundamentals program, MTA Networking Fundamentals program, and MTA Security Fundamentals program. Dalal’s fascination with technology began at a young age. She is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Computer Science at the American University of Sharjah. She has taken on several internships in the past couple of years to help apply educational knowledge to real-world situations and perfect her skills in professional settings. She applied to this internship keen to learn new things and broaden her horizon into the educational sector. She hopes to hone her research and writing skills and learn how she can blend what she learns as a KDSL Global Intern with her degree because she is passionate about the future of education with technology.

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KDSL Global talks with Richard Lange

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How important are mentoring programs and mentors? A few studies from Tennessee and Chicago released this year offer evidence that good teaching can be passed down from mentor teacher to student teacher. Teachers who are effective were found to be promising mentors. Mentorship was also cited as a reason new teachers stayed in the profession in the state of Washington. The key message is that mentoring and the quality of the mentors matter.

KDSL Global had the opportunity to chat with Richard Lange to learn more about his thoughts on education and mentoring. Lange served as an education consultant to more than 30 districts in five states and Germany, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and Singapore. His current professional positions include:  Amundsen High School, Chicago, Professional Development Coordinator for new teachers and student teachers, National Louis University, Department of Curriculum & Instruction, Adjunct Faculty & Student Teacher Supervisor, Northwestern University, Center for Talent Development, Teacher Supervisor, State Department of Education, Zurich, Switzerland, Education Policy Consultant, ASCD Mentoring Leadership and Recourse Network, Director since 1991, Illinois ASCD, Advocacy and Policy Committee Chairperson since 2003, and North Cook County Gifted Education Advisory Board, Board Member since 1985. He is one of three authors of A Life Saver for New Teachers: Mentoring Case Studies to Navigate the Initial Years. Below is what Lange had to say when posed three questions about mentoring programs.

What are some essential things to consider and implement in mentoring programs?

Given the changes in our teachers and teaching virtual mentoring should be available. In addition, have a set up that works and this should be dependent on the style of people involved. It is important to think about the resources you have and have an action plan for mentoring.

What are some of features which should be part of a mentoring program?

It is necessary for someone to be in charge of these programs. Ideal is to have a mentor director that is a third party who is able to probe and asks both the mentors and mentees questions. Roles and definitions need to be clear for the mentor and the mentee. When interviewing for jobs, new teachers need to ask about mentoring programs and if they have access to a mentor.

Does more training the trainers of mentor teacher leaders help?

In some cases, but I have found that millenials will seek information on their own, so it may prove that they need less support. Many teachers with five to six years of experience may not ask for support, so people have to pro-actively reach out to them.

 

Are you a new teacher? Do you have a mentor? Do you serve as a mentor to a teacher or group of teachers? For more information and resources, you can visit http://www.mentors.net/

MENA Teacher Summit 2018

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Dubai, 11 October 2018: The MENA Teacher Summit was held in Dubai last weekend, on 5th and 6th of October. Organized by KDSL Global and an initiative of the ASCD Connected Community in the GCC, the Teacher Summit seeks to improve teaching and learning and connect education professionals throughout the MENA region to the resources provided by ASCD. ASCD is dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading so that every child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.

Hundreds of educators from 8 countries and over 40 partner organizations from across the region and the world participated in the professional learning opportunity held at Marriott Hotel Al Jadaff. Attendees had 35 different workshops to select from with topics as diverse as teachers as same designers, developing resilience in young people for all aspects of life, inclusive education, coaching as a framework to improve student achievement, and teaching students to self-assess and reflect for deeper learning. The participants were welcomed on Saturday by His Excellency Salem Khamis Al Shair Al Suwaidi who shared the importance of schools in uniting the 200 different nationalities who live in the United Arab Emirates. Featured presenter and ASCD author Starr Sackstein said, “The conference was a well-organized learning opportunity for all who attended, participants and presenters. The conversations and collaborative problem-solving were unique opportunities to provide better learning for all students.”

The day one pre-conference and opening keynote speech on day two was given by ASCD author Dr. Victoria Bernhardt. Victoria is known worldwide as a leading authority on data analysis for continuous school and district improvement. She is the author of 22 highly praised books on data analysis, school improvement, Response to Intervention, and more. Teams of teachers were introduced to a program evaluation tool featured in Dr. Bernhardt’s book Measuring What We Do in Schools and used this resource with an example from their own school.

For more information about the summit and partnering organizations visit http://menateachersummit.com. The group has changed the name of the summit to the GCC ASCD Conference and the next professional learning opportunity will take place during 4-5 October in 2019.

 
ABOUT KDSL Global

KDSL Global is a UAE-based leading learning organization focused on empowering educators and education businesses globally.

ABOUT GCC ASCD Connected Community

Our goal as the GCC Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Connected Community is to unite educators throughout the region, inspiring all of us to learn globally and teach locally.

PRESS CONTACT

Kevin Simpson, KDSL Global, menateachersummit@gmail.com, +971 55 344 9286