KDSL Global chats with Julio Rivera of Liberate Meditation

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KDSL Global collaborates with education businesses around the world. One service we offer is promoting education companies. Our intern Isabella Ellwein had a chance to chat with Julio Rivera of Liberate Meditation. Learn more about this app and his work below.

 

Why did you create this app? Can you pinpoint a major event or experience you had, as a person of color, that prompted your creation of this app? 

 

I can remember the first time that I had stepped in a room of a meditation space, full of black and brown beautiful faces. As an Afro-Latino, this made me feel like I was back home with family and on a deeper level, this does something to relax the nervous system. I had this deep experience in this community dedicated to people of color, which helped me feel more relaxed and safe and allowed me to be vulnerable about my challenges. I had struggled with burnout and high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression at that time. This space allowed me to be more vulnerable about everything I was facing. At the end of it, I felt empowered that I could change the relationship with my challenges, that I could overcome suffering and I felt hopeful.

 

Being in a space that was a dedicated community to people of color was so transformational for me. I did my own research after this experience and I didn’t see many resources for people of color that was geared towards meditation practices. This shocked me. I had a background in software engineering and I had spent 8+ years building mobile apps for a lot of big retail brands. So, I felt like this was my calling, to use my software engineering background and combine it with my love for meditation. My app Liberate was born, which provides meditation resources for people of color.

 

 

How has meditation personally helped you overcome adversity faced as a person of color?

As a person of color, we have this inner critic, which is this voice that can be really abusive. It can get in the way of us accomplishing the things we want, telling us that we are not good enough. People of color have been forced to change and assimilate to White America and white culture. We have been told to fit into the system and fall in line. I think over generations, we’ve internalized this as people of color. So, my meditation practice has helped me to see the impacts of colonialism and to be observant of it. It has also helped me be more compassionate towards myself. It has allowed me to move forward in the world with love, with power, with courage, with confidence. It has helped me cultivate a lot of self-love and shown me that I am enough. I know that when I do invest in myself and personal development, it is coming from the desire to expand my love and light, rather than feeling like I need to fix something inherently wrong with me.

 

 

What are some of the requirements you are looking for when selecting a teacher to talk and/or guide a meditation?

A big thing for me is personal experience with meditation. A lot of the teachers on the app probably have a decade or more of personal experience with meditation. I also think that it is important to have teachers who are people of color, as these teachers have had a personal experience with adversity and perhaps, internalized their struggles. It’s important for the teachers to have a past path of learning. I like them to have a lineage and connection with past teachers that they go to for guidance and help through their own personal practice. I have curated the team of teachers through a very thoughtful and mindful process. I’m just so grateful that I get the opportunity to work with these really wise folks that have so much to offer to the world. I am excited about giving these teachers a platform to spread and impact people’s lives in so many positive ways.

 

To learn more about Liberate Meditation visit https://liberatemeditation.com

 

 

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Julio Rivera is the founder of Liberate, a company started to support the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color community in healing and thriving. He started Liberate after experiencing a transformation in self-compassion after becoming apart of a meditation community dedicated for People of Color. After seeing a lack of digital resources to support BIPOC in their meditation practice, he worked with community to create our own.

 

KDSL Global chats with Ezirim Kennedy of Yagazie Foundation

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KDSL Global collaborates with education businesses around the world. One service we offer is promoting education companies. This month the team had a chance to chat with Ezirim Kennedy of Yagazie Foundation. Learn more about this new team and their work below.

 

 

Tell us about the Yagazie Foundation.

We are a Nigeria based non-profit organization that operates independently of a government. We are also a group of humanitarians made up of some strategic thinkers who can adapt quickly and respond to changing and pressing needs faster than governmental organizations which require executive and electoral approval for action.

Yagazie Foundation is consistent and well organized in delivery of critically important service such as sustainable Health care, Education, Agriculture and Environmental, Empowerment, Advocacy as well as human right protection.

We have exhibited high level of integrity and transparency in budgeting of effectual action. We have also not failed to acknowledge the importance of foreign expertise within the NGO framework.

Our mission is to motivate potential leaders, offer a sustained opportunity to the voiceless, underserved, unreached and less privileged from disadvantaged background through the provision of quality health care, enhanced education and healthy environment with the aim of impacting a productive lifestyle in order to disconnect them from perilous activities.

Our 3 focus in Yagazie Foundation is to use Sports to solve problems in Education, Health and Environments.

 

 

 

What are your three pillars?

INNOVATION

Indicates our drive to challenge ourselves as a team to creatively overcome obstacles and treats to a to a better living.

 

IMPACT

Reflects our intense passion/interest in adding or creating value where little or none exists, thereby positively transforming the lives of beneficiaries.

 

GOVERNANCE

Reflects our good-doing mission to our employees, directors, volunteers, stake-holders.

 

 

 

What is the future of education in Nigeria? 

The future of education in Nigeria is dark because the rate of drop out is increasing incessantly as the day goes by. The government is doing what they can and it is not enough to tackle the problems of providing an enabling environment for Students to study and develop in Nigeria. Consequently, this will affect the economy and productivity of the country negatively.

 

To learn more about the Yagazie Foundation visit https://www.yagaziefoundation.org

 

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Ezirim C. Kennedy JP is a Global Citizen, Justice of Peace, Ambassador for Peace, Humanitarian, Educationist, SDGs Advocate and a Sports Consultant. He is the Founder of Yagazie Foundation, Yagazie Sports and African Coaches League which serves mankind in different ways respectively. A member of the Alumni Association of Ecole Superieur De Gestion Et De Technologie where he studied International Relations and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree, Kennedy has had leadership roles right from elementary school days onward. He has a passion for leadership and that’s why he took some leadership roles with some local organisations in Nigeria and Africa, such as African Coaches League, Yagazie Foundation, African Youth Leadership & Economic Summit (AYLES) etc. He had some professional trainings with GIZ, British Council, FATE Foundation etc. Kennedy always wants to make an impact and sustained societal development to the people in his jurisdiction or any one he comes in contact with. He also has a passion for peace, leadership, humanity, education, sports, good governance and the execution of projects from the grassroots. Kennedy has organised grassroots education, sports, environmental and peace development program across Nigeria and Africa to help give sustainable resilience to the unreached, underserved and less privileged person from disadvantaged background across Nigeria and other African communities.

KDSL Global International Education Recruitment

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KDSL Global is a leading learning organization focused on empowering educators and education businesses globally.  We are excited to officially share our KDSL Global International Education Recruitment division, which will focus on partnering with school groups and education organizations around the world to meet their talent needs. Our diverse team have all worked in the international education space for 20+ years and have completed executive searches, teacher recruitment, and filled consultant needs on education projects around the world. This will be led by Ann Little.

 

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With over 25 years’ experience, Ann Little is passionate about making a difference globally within the education and leadership field. She is a versatile professional with an extensive background and expertise in strategic planning, change management, education reform projects, leadership development, training, recruitment, special education, and inclusion.

Ann began her career as a special education inclusion teacher and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary and Special Education from Hiram College, Ohio. In 2009 she wanted to expand her knowledge and interests by studying abroad and in 2010 earned a Master of Arts degree in Education Leadership & Management from the University of Roehampton in London, United Kingdom. She is a licensed teacher in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

After earning her master’s degree Ann went on to work with two international school start-ups in the Middle East and three large scale education reform projects in SE Asia focusing on leadership development, strategic planning, recruitment,   building capacity, improving teaching pedagogy and inclusion practices. Prior to this, she led a large-scale special education literacy project in Hillsborough County, Florida with the 8th largest school district in the United States. Under her leadership, the project grew to provide services to over 5,000 special education students in 100+ schools.

Ann is both a visionary and transformational leader who has proven her ability to succeed in driving change through school transformation projects with diverse populations at an international level. She is committed to improving opportunities for students everywhere to access quality education. She brings her ability to work and relate effectively across international cultures to recruitment, leadership, and special education projects.

 

 

 

Online Learning in Oman

Our School 
Sarh Al Jaameah Private School (SAPS) is a small private school allocated in Muscat, Oman. It serves grades 1 through 3. Its blended curriculum includes Cambridge Primary International (English, Math & Science), Ministry of Education Arabic subjects (Arabic, Islamic and S.S.), Life Skills and specials.
 
What Our School Implemented 
When the Ministry recently closed schools, no direct or implicit directives were given for the continuation of learning during this time. In anticipation of a school closure, and hearing other educational organizations around the world suspending school, I had my ICT teacher to create Google Classrooms for every subject across all grades. Because I have multi-language and multi-national teachers, I needed to have something that is easy to follow, explain and implement.
I chose to adopt the Google Classroom platform because it is the most teacher friendly tool that I have seen used in schools over the years. There are few limitations to what teachers can upload or link to each classroom. You can post as little or as much as you need to accommodate your individual school goals for virtual learning. In addition, Google Meet is also in the G Suite, which allows teachers to visit the same platform to assist with communication with teams inside the organization.
Tips for Others in Getting Started with Online Learning
 
1. Humanity Above All!
Before you delve into what can be managed on the education front, consider that your health, family and well being are the most important factors in the face of this challenge. Our jobs and online learning are beneficial to those we serve, but none of it matters if we don’t care of ourselves and each other. Remember that when you begin, or continue plans you have for online learning. Remember Maslow’s perspective on learning. It will matter to educators and families alike.
 
2. Do something to keep the school community connected
As we can see, educational responses to the pandemic are different from country to country, state to state and school to school within a system. Some organizations have a plan, while some require little to no continuation of learning. There are a gazillion ways to do this. Find what works for you. Don’t worry about emulating others, but do consider some of the creative ideas that have been shared. Even if you can’t address school wide online learning, create a YouTube page for weekly announcements or encouragement, send emails with web-based sites for extension activities, or make calls to families once per week to check-in with any of the workbooks and packets that may be sent home .

3. Create and use a model that is teacher, student and family friendly 
Work together to create a plan…
  • Begin by drafting a plan that all of your staff can have input on. Brainstorm all of the things you think are necessary, practical and feasible based on your goals, resources and current global situation. This includes non-instructional staff. Everyone may have a perspective that may not be readily evident unless you have a variety of views. What do you want to accomplish? Google Docs are great for planning, time-saving and convenient in or out of the workplace.

Online Learning Plan

 

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4. Consider the capacity of your staff
Remember that everyone is not an expert in using/implementing technology effectively. Choose platforms, apps and resources that are teacher friendly because they are the ones that have to develop assignments and navigate your chosen online learning tools.
5. Set up a mock online learning environment – Perfect to engage in professional learning and development initiatives!
Experiment with teachers before asking families to engage in the process. You don’t want to be trouble-shooting with parents unnecessarily. The process can be cumbersome. I created a professional learning Google Classroom for my staff first, requiring a couple of assignments, responses and uploads based on one of our SIP goals with my teachers:) The plan was to incorporate a blended learning environment prior to the school closing. This allowed me to demonstrate and engage my teachers in person, explaining and translating while on the interactive board and their devices. It proved to be very productive and reassuring. The additional benefit to the staff is that we get to engage in continuous professional learning. Use some of this time to catch up or reinforce school wide best practices or introduce others.

 

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6. Keep student work and planning simple
  • Ensure clear expectations (uniform criteria)
  • Compact curriculum
  • Cover essentials only
  • Minimize assignments
  • Refrain from formal grading
  • Make some of it fun!
  • Encourage
  • Praise
  • Give Feedback/Support
Note – Remember the context for why we’re all even having online learning. If students/families aren’t able to keep up with assignments, consider what they may be trying to manage at home. Encourage them to complete what they can, and remind them that our role is to provide some continuation of learning and access. The whole world has a lot on their plate right now. We are just trying to minimize the gaps we all know will occur during this crisis.
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7. Monitor the progress of your online learning
Teachers can and should provide feedback to students with appropriate next steps, praise for their effort to keep up with work and support parents in this homeschooling environment. Administrators, add yourself to each classroom and you’re able to address accountability and support teachers in the process. Note – All the classrooms show up in your Google Classroom app, but you can disable the notifications, so you’re not inundated with participant responses.
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8. Consider feedback and modify plans where necessary 
We’ve seen many memes and responses to the plight of schools and families’ frustrations. While many of these are hilarious, we need to understand the explicit and underlying messages being conveyed. If the online learning we create is overwhelming, stakeholders will not engage in the process, at least not effectively, making the best of plans all for naught.

9. Use available platforms to communicate with each other
We are using Google Meet. For those folks required by your local education authority (LEA) to implement online learning, choose one of the many platforms to hold meetings online for discussion on some of your school’s online initiatives. Most are now free to access. For some of our international schools, this may be difficult, as most VOIPs are blocked. However, some countries, like Oman have suspended restrictions due to the crisis at hand.
Our staff has had very successful meetings on Google Meet. Both my English and Arabic speaking staff engaged to discuss progress and next steps. It offers accessibility using closed caption, chatting sidebar, optional mute, screen sharing for the initiator/presenter of the meeting and multiple screen layouts. The staff took turns in verbal responses while typing thoughts, ideas and questions to be included in our discussion. Responses are used to follow up.
 
10. Consider and document how you’ll continue to incorporate these wonderful practices in the future!
 
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Natasha is currently the principal of an international school in Oman. As an education specialist (Ed.S.), and founder of Key Education Solutions Consulting (KEDS), she also employs 20 years of experience to engage schools, and families in research-based, best educational practices. Professional learning and development of educators is her passion, particularly in the area of Mindset research, and its implications in educator effort and evidence within the classroom.
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KDSL Global Math Consultant Dr. Cory Bennett provides the keynote at the Middle East Maths Teacher Conference

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The fourth Middle East Maths Teachers Conference was held on February 22, 2020, at Le Meridien Dubai Hotel and Conference Centre and brought together, School Leaders, Maths Advisors, Education Consultants and Mathematics Educators, from all over the Middle East and beyond, for a jam-packed day of learning and networking, with the main aim of advancing the teaching and learning of Mathematics in classrooms. The first Middle East Maths Teachers Conference was held on March 11, 2017, under the theme Active Maths…Engaged Learning. Since then, the Middle East Maths Teachers Conference has become the must-attend event for teachers of Mathematics from the Middle East and even further afield.

KDSL Global Math Consultant Dr. Cory Bennett served as the keynote speaker. He is a passionate educator who strives for equity in learning for all students. As a global consultant and an Associate Professor of Education specializing in curriculum and instruction, he has worked with educators throughout the United States and across the Middle East, Europe, Australia, and Asia.

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KDSL Global Founder on Ed-Talk Live

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Ed-Talk Live is an International Educational Talk show hosted by ELASCD and Pakistan ASCD. The mission is to connect educators globally and spread wise words for better education. On a recent show, KDSL Global Founder Kevin Simpson was a guest discussing education entrepreneurship and supporting international education leaders of color.
To access the discussion visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxGa0UjSbl0

2019 KDSL Global Fellow Octevia Torian reflects on her experience

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We had a chance to connect with 2019 KDSL Global Fellow Octevia Torian and find out about her year as a fellow. She is from Virginia and has 15 years of experience in the education field. In the past she has served as an instructional coach, advisor and advanced academics resource teacher. Currently, Octevia is in her third year of working in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates with a focus on the Next Generation Science Standards, Project-Based Learning, STEM, drones and more.

Share your experience as a KDSL Global Fellow.

My experience as a KDSL Global Fellow was a great opportunity.  I knew I wanted to disrupt education in a creative way.  Kevin listened to “big goals” and he did not discourage me in working towards my goal. We worked on a plan to achieve the plan.  I shortly realized I needed to change my plan a little, and Kevin went with the flow.  He continued to encourage me and provide resources to help me move forward.  He supported me on social media and throughout my work in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  He connected me to people in the UAE, and I was able to learn and grow from their advice.  Within a year, I accomplished so much as a KDSL Global Fellow.  The Teacher Table launched in 2019.  The Teacher Table is talk show on education.  The show discusses “Everything Education.” I am grateful for the opportunity to grow under the leadership of Kevin and as a KDSL Global Fellow. The Teacher Table is just getting started.  However, I am excited to meet other people within the education field and throughout the global community to discuss “Everything Education.”

 

 

Advice you would give to an educator looking for opportunities outside of the classroom.

To the educators looking for opportunities outside the classroom I would say start your business in education or in area you desire.  Write down your plan and take those initial steps. Check off each step as you go and then celebrate. When times get hard, go harder and push through.  It’s your breakthrough to the next level.  If you want to start your business or whatever it is outside the classroom, GO FOR IT!   Network and build relationships with people in education and find opportunities to network with people not in education.  Share your story. Share your passion.  Complete a vision board. Use a planner.  Do whatever it takes to make it happen.   But the main thing that worked for me was finding my squad who supported me and all that I am doing! Then ROCK IT!  Don’t worry about the onlookers. That’s their job!  Wave and keep striving for greatness.  You will win!!

 

What will you work on next?

That’s a good question. I know I want to continue to make videos for The Teacher Table on a regular based.  Now I am a certified Educational Success Coach and collaborate with educators on how they can reach their goals with fun and creative action plans.   This year and beyond I want to continue to present on STEM and build my teacher platform on education.  The next project is writing and publishing my first children’s picture book (with an interesting twist).  I am excited to see how and when this will happen.

 

 

To learn more about KDSL Global Fellow Alumni Octevia Torian check her out on social media.

Blog- inspired2coachblog.wordpress.com

Instagram- theteachertable

LinkedIn- Octevia Torian

Twitter- OcteviaT

Impact International Schools Advisory Council

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Our Vision

Empower vulnerable children (autistic, orphan and handicap children) and young women who can reach their full potential so that they are healthier, able to make their own decisions and through their education, enable their families and communities to flourish.

Our Mission Statement

The Impact International Schools (IIS) exist to empower orphan, handicap and autistic children, as well as young women to reach their full potential by providing sustainable, affordable and accessible quality education and primary healthcare to vulnerable children and young women in Hastings village and beyond.

 

 Join Our IIS Advisory Council!

Apply to become part of our new advisory council!

Being a part of the IIS Advisory Council is a great way to serve the education community and learn more about the work we do. This newly established council will connect with our team and community in Sierra Leone. IIS is collaborating with KDSL Global, a leading learning organization focused on empowering educators and education businesses globally, on organizing this council.

We are looking for a dedicated group of individuals from around the world who work in the field of education and are seeking a new, challenging opportunity to serve.

Advisory Council members may:

  • Give feedback and input on initiatives
  • Serve on committees
  • Provide funding leadership

IIS Advisory Council members will serve for a two-year term starting in April 2020. To apply please email your resume and a short note about why you would like to serve on the council to www.mohamedabasssankoh88@gmail.com  and kdslglobalinfo@gmail.com. The deadline to apply is 20 April 2020.

 

Thank you for your interest in this new council!

KDSL Global Fellows 2020

KDSL Global, based in the United Arab Emirates and in the United States, is pleased to announce our new fellows.  The fellowship will run from January-December 2020 with a focus on writing, leadership, and launching a new education idea.

 

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Abdul-Razak Issah has been teaching for the past 9+ years at the basic schools in Ghana.  He is a father of 3 and grew up in Bunkpurugu in the Northern Regions of Ghana. Issah attended Tamale College of Education, where he studied a Diploma in Basic Education and majored in Mathematics and Science. In addition, he also pursued a BBA degree in Accounting in one of the Premier Christian University called Valley View university.

Issah’s first teaching job was at Dakpema MA primary school where he taught maths and science from 2010-2013. He was also the lead teacher for coaching newly posted student teachers from the colleges of education on teaching ethics and student’s rights. He was promoted to the rank of Senior Superintendent II in the year 2013. Then after that, he was transferred from Dakpema MA primary school to Methodist Experimental primary school to teach maths and science. When he started at his current place of work, due to the socio-cultural background of the pupils, Issah realized that the attrition rate for female child was so high and it was as a result of how females are viewed. It has been a great challenge and he is designing a project to bring out some teachers to help address this problem.

 

 

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Ezirim C. Kennedy JP is a Global Citizen, Justice of Peace, Ambassador for Peace, Humanitarian, Educationist, SDGs Advocate and a Sports Consultant. He is the Founder of Yagazie Foundation, Yagazie Sports and African Coaches League which serves mankind in different ways respectively. 

A member of the Alumni Association of Ecole Superieur De Gestion Et De Technologie where he studied International Relations and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree, Kennedy has had leadership roles right from elementary school days onward. He has a passion for leadership and that’s why he took some leadership roles with some local organisations in Nigeria and Africa, such as African Coaches League, Yagazie Foundation, African Youth Leadership & Economic Summit (AYLES) etc. He had some professional trainings with GIZ, British Council, FATE Foundation etc. Kennedy always wants to make an impact and sustained societal development to the people in his jurisdiction or any one he comes in contact with. He also has a passion for peace, leadership, humanity, education, sports, good governance and the execution of projects from the grassroots. Kennedy has organised grassroots education, sports, environmental and peace development program across Nigeria and Africa to help give sustainable resilience to the unreached, underserved and less privileged person from disadvantaged background across Nigeria and other African communities.

 

Dubai Education Week

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The week of February 22-29, 2020 will mark the first annual Dubai Education week. This will be a jam-packed week of activities for educators and education enthusiasts from Dubai as well as visitors to the city from all over the globe.

The United Arab Emirates and Dubai is a hub for innovation in education. During this week there will be several opportunities for visitors to witness first hand all that Dubai and the country’s education industry has to offer.

 

For more information visit https://dubaieducationweek.com/.