What Made Ms. T Matter Most to Me

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Teachers Matter. This hashtag used by the Global Skills Education Forum, GESF earlier this year and  now the catch phrase is more than a hashtag or catch phrase to me. Teachers Matter to me because had it not been for teachers, education, one of two things that transformed my life, would have definitely eluded me.

As a maladjusted child, I struggled in school despite possessing great academic prowess throughout my academic life. Nothing could fill the void left inside by my mother who decided that I should not have been born. As a high-spirited child, I carried on with life, albeit fighting beasts such as feelings of insignificance, emotional imbalances, self-doubt and fear, inability to trust and inappropriate advances made by close relatives. Who could I share these horrors with? I was brought up in a household in which I was to be seen and not heard and so I tried hard enough to live by such rule.  Well, every full cup must run over. Sadly, most of my spills occurred at school. To some teachers I was the girl with the attitude that wouldn’t get very far in life.

Truth be told, I was blessed with some of the best teachers and lecturers throughout my primary, high school and even college years. And maybe some of the teachers were made the above-mentioned judgment had valid points – I had issues. These issues had they been left untended would most likely result in the destruction of me. Even though most of my outstanding teachers and lecturers inspired me in various ways, whenever I think of a life-changing teacher this one teacher, Mrs. Donna Thompson comes to the forefront of my mind. Mrs. Thompson, or Ms. T as I affectionately refer to her, bore the name ‘Bad-pickney Defender’ in her selfless pursuit to reach students like me who lacked one thing or another but were continuously brushed aside and sometimes even pushed into greater lack by people who should have been fully invested in our well-being.

During my mid-teen years life got even more horrendous at home and life at school was not better in my eyes. When most persons turned a blind eye to my situation, Mrs. Thompson reached out to me and never stopped showing she cares. She provided me with emotional support, built my self-esteem, showed me how brilliant I was – validation I never got from my family, took care of my physical needs and provided a place of refuge – just somewhere I could go to clear my head. When I walked away from high school because of the surmounting stress, she formed a team which included the school counsellor, and called an intervention. This team ensured that I sat my exit exams instead of wasting time and money. Because of Ms. T’s actions, I could have matriculated to just about any university if I could afford to. She never gave up on me, always supported me and is very much still a part of my life. Mrs. Thompson is the difference between teachers who know their content but do not know their students and teachers who know their content and know their students because they care about the people they teach.

Today, I am a heart-centered educator who is passionate about knowing my students and teaching beyond written standards and assessments. Connecting with students, making a real difference and impact in their lives and giving back, and being empathetic in my classroom and  society at large  are things I value above all.  To leave as powerful a legacy as Mrs. Thompson, I teach my students to do the same as the mark she left on me is an indelible one.

 

 

 

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Sania S. Green-Reynolds is an overcomer, and award-winning international educator who is passionate about personal and professional growth and cultivating the richest, most diverse learning experiences for learners. She is the founder and director of Lit Publishing Ltd., a mom, wife, visionary, teacher-leader and trainer, and resourceful friend and colleague. Apart from being an extroverted-introvert who likes a light yet empowering conversation, she likes meeting new people, spending time with family and friends and exploring new content and business ideas. Sania has authored and co-authored Amazon Best-selling books, transformed her clients’ lives through coaching and the re-channeling of creative energies, and inspired change among people across the globe. In 2018 she was selected as a KDSL Global Fellow.

Connect with her on LinkedIn – @Sania Green-Reynolds or on Twitter @SaniaEmpowers

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KDSL Global interviews Heath Bailey of Going Global: : The Life Changing Experiences of 10 Courageous Black Men

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Our KDSL Global Intern recently had the opportunity to interview Heath Bailey, an author of Going Global: The Life Changing Experiences of 10 Courageous Black Men. In this book you will learn about gentlemen who are entrepreneurs, educators, writers, and serve in the military. They all made the decision to pack up their knowledge, skills, and Black Power from America and go global.

 

What was the inspiration for the book?

 Most of the authors were prompt to write due to reasons which were very similar. Each of our lives have changed drastically by deciding to leave our families, jobs, and environments in America, and live and work in the Middle East. I have personally been wanting to share my story to the world as it has changed the trajectory of my career and personal life. Since leaving America, I have been rejuvenated and have a better outlook on the world. We are all literally living a movie. I could document a happening each day of my life if I chose to write more frequently.

 

What do you hope your readers take away from the book?

Our ultimate goal is to inspire, encourage, and open people’s minds to other options. We want our readers to have the courage to step out on faith and recognize that American society is simply one of thousands of places a person can navigate and call home. The reader will also learn about 10 black counter narratives as we are highly educated fathers, husbands, and sons. Anyone who reads Going Global will get the gist of how to live life to the fullest outside of America.

 

What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book? 

The agreement was that each author would write a maximum of 3500 words. Most of us started writing and had to condensed our chapters significantly. For instance, my first draft was 7000 words. I shaved my chapter, ‘Free to Live’ down to 4600. I begged the organizer to allow my chapter to have more words. But the goal of the book was to appeal to both an avid reader and/or the occasional reader. We felt that limiting the size of each chapter would better hold the interest of even a non-reader.

 

To get your copy of Going Global: The Life Changing Experiences of 10 Courageous Black Men visit https://www.amazon.com/Going-Global-Changing-Experiences-Courageous/dp/1729835635.

 

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Heath Bailey is a global educator from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is a proven transformational leader who is poised to further his quest with an unwavering mission and conviction to better our world. Heath has served in the education field for twenty-six years and has been abroad for five years. His goal is to find and implement the most innovative ways of educating young people. Heath currently serves as the Head of High School at the American International School in Dubai.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KDSL Global and the GCC ASCD Connected Community Convene the Teach to Lead Summit

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Professional Development Targets MENA’s Teacher Leaders  

  

DUBAI, UAE, April 29, 2019 – On Friday, October 4, and Saturday, October 5, MENA region teachers and teams will convene in Dubai as part of an initiative of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Connected Community in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) called the Teach to Lead Summit.   During a summit, teams of educators convene to think deeply about a problem of practice – an idea for how to improve learning in their school or country context – and to work as a team to plan solutions. Organized by KDSL Global, a UAE-based education company, the Teach to Lead Summit seeks to allow participating teams to:

  • Share ideas and best practices and learn from examples of existing teacher leadership efforts;
  • Identify common challenges and create concrete, actionable teacher leadership plans to address them locally;
  • Network and build relationships with other educators and leaders in their region; and
  • Identify promising ideas for follow-up support through future engagement events.

Dubai based ASCD Emerging Leader Ashley Green said,The Teach to Lead Summit will provide the educational leaders throughout the MENA region with the platform to grow and build their ideas while receiving support and input from global community stakeholders.”

 

Educators, school leaders, and teams from the MENA region are encouraged to apply early to attend.  More information can be found at http://www.gccascd.com/teachtolead.

 

 

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

Ashley Green, KDSL Global, gccascd@gmail.com,  +971 525427009

 

KDSL Global Fellows 2019

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 2019 with a focus on writing, leadership, and launching a new education idea.

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Octevia Torian is from Virginia and has 14 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 second year of teaching in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates with a focus on the Next Generation Science Standards, Project-Based Learning, STEM, and teaching science at the middle school level.  She loves to bring real life experiences to the classroom for students and takes pleasure in seeing learners engaged in the classroom and applying their knowledge to everyday life. Octevia is a lifelong learner who is a member of professional development organizations such as ASCD and presents at education conferences. One of her latest projects involves initiating a pilot program at her school with Global Air Media, LLC. This program uses STEM curriculum to teach students about drone technology and entrepreneurship in the 21st century. At her school she leads a YouTube Club for students, a talk show for teachers, and is a co-host for a podcast called Dismissed.  She is a graduate from Averett University, Capella University, and Virginia Commonwealth University.

 

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Sania Green-Reynolds is a Jamaican native who is living her dream of experiencing and contributing to education on a global level. She is an experienced and dynamic English teacher, curriculum, teaching and learning support expert, and believer. Sania has been teaching for 16 years (pre-training) and 11 years (post-training). She’s taught students (face to face) in Jamaica and the Caribbean, Japan, the United Arab Emirates and students of other nationalities in online forums, and hosts  personal and professional development workshops as well as speak at regional and international conferences. Over the years she has received various awards in education, which speak to her innovative and skilled approach to teaching and progressive student learning.

Sania is a best-selling co-author and a writer who has contributed to several international publications. She has been an inspiration to her students and colleagues alike. One of her books, The Self-Confidence Booster, was translated to Japanese to provide further inspiration and motivation to her students in Japan whom she believed could speak English more fluently if they were confident enough to do so. Sania has been awarded different awards such as English Teacher of the Month, Most Innovative English Teacher, Education Journal Middle East Teacher of the Week and recognized as the teacher with the highest NWEA MAP progress and attainment in her past school.

She believes in giving back to the community. As demonstrated by her work in community improvement and social work in education, which spans from the Caribbean to Africa and as a result, she is honored to be a Walden University Scholar of Change Awardee. She holds a 3-year Diploma in English Language and Literature Education, a B.Ed. in Elementary Education with 1st Class Honors, Certificates in TEFL, Supervisory Management and Coaching, and a M.S.Ed. In Educational Leadership and Administration with Honors.

 

10 Lessons from an Education Entrepreneur – eBook Released

1 March 2018: International education entrepreneur, Kevin Simpson, releases an eBook today charting his journey from classroom teacher to globetrotting entrepreneur. The KDSL Global Story: 10 Lessons from an Education Entrepreneur is a fascinating, insightful read for any educators who are seeking to take the plunge, find their passion, and start their own company. If you’ve ever wondered how one might transition from a teacher to an entrepreneur, or how one can find a way to work in education all the way round the world, Kevin will have helpful advice and insight for you.

Readers will find out how having standards of excellence, taking risks, being open to change, and learning when to say no have helped Kevin launch and successfully maintain his dream company. The foreword is written by education investor and advisor Bernard West, who says that, “This book is a welcomed addition addressing multiple points of view: The teacher seeking an entrepreneurial path, the student charting a career in international education, and the social entrepreneur aiming to have a global impact.”

Kevin Simpson’s career has taken him from classrooms in Michigan to Virginia to collaborating on education projects in Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, Nigeria, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and 15 other countries. His company, KDSL Global, is a leading international learning organization focused on empowering educators and education businesses globally. Kevin believes passionately in sharing knowledge and skills around, growing others, and having fun in the collaborative process. Reading his 10 Lessons will give any education entrepreneur the inspiration and initial tools they need to get started and make their dreams a reality.

Part of the proceeds from the sale of the eBook will go to the organizations listed with the KDSL Global Gives 10 Initiative. To order the eBook visit www.kdslglobal.com and click on Celebrating 10 years.

 

For further information, please contact Kevin Simpson

Tel: 312.478.1695 | kevin@kdslglobal.com | http://www.kdslglobal.com

 

 

About KDSL Global

KDSL Global is a USA and UAE-based leading learning organization focused on empowering educators and education businesses globally. To find out more information visit http://www.kdslglobal.com

Welcome Back MENA American Curriculum Educators!

August 2017

 

Dear MENA American curriculum educators,

 

We are excited to welcome each of you back to your respective school. Our focus for this year will be … keep learning. Whether you are a new school just getting started or a highly established school, each of us has a responsibility in the continuous improvement process.

 

We are constantly looking at how we can best support schools, teachers, and students. Here is a sample of what you can expect from us during 2017-2018:

 

  • Webinars: Webinars provide the opportunity to learn from expert educators and authors who are based in the United States. We offer free and paid hour-long webinars on topics ranging from instructional strategies, data, standards, and more.
  • MENA Teacher Summit: An initiative of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (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. Founded in 1943, ASCD is the global leader in developing and delivering innovative programs, products, and services that empower educators to support the success of each learner. This regional event is a platform for teachers to engage and learn with renowned educators and scholars. Topics at the summit will address best practices in leadership, data, curriculum, and English Language Arts, Math and Science. Visit http://www.menateachersummit.com.
  • MENA C3 White Paper: How are the C3 social studies standards being implemented in the MENA region? In the USA? This paper will explore these questions and provide educators with resources.
  • MENA Learning Portal: An online learning platform, which will offer tools and resources connected to curriculum, instruction, assessment, professional learning and more.

 

2017 is a special year for us as we celebrate 10 years of work in 20+ countries with hundreds of partners and thousands of educators and students.

 

To a great year!

 

Sincerely,

 

Kevin Simpson

KDSL Global Celebrates 10 Years

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 10, 2017
Kevin Simpson
Founder
KDSL Global
kevin@kdslglobal.com

 

GRAND BLANC, MI – As a leading learning organization focused on empowering educators and education companies globally, KDSL Global today celebrates a decade of serving organizations to increase student achievement, teacher knowledge and education leadership.

The company begin as KDSL USA in Washington, D.C. on August 10, 2007. Over the years they moved operations to Michigan and Dubai and transitioned into KDSL Global. In the last decade they collaborated with hundreds of schools and organizations and thousands of educators and leaders in over twenty countries. The majority of the company’s work has centered on American curriculum schools in the Middle East and North Africa region.

“We started 10 years ago with a collaboration mindset and a commitment to providing top-quality service to our partners in education around the world,” said Kevin Simpson, founder and native of Flint, Michigan. Some of their achievements over the years include: serving leaders, teachers, and students in Venezuela, providing professional learning to American curriculum schools in the United Arab Emirates, coaching leaders in Saudi Arabia and Nigeria on transforming teaching and learning with Pearson Middle East, and partnering with Smart Education and Alpha Publishing to head up professional learning for educators in the Middle East and North Africa.

The company’s approach has played a significant role in their success. Maintaining an active role in the education sector, focusing on collaborating with high will/high skill colleagues, developing new initiatives based on educator needs and requests and delivering one-on-one support consistently has led the team on a continuous learning and professional journey.

KDSL Global will be celebrating the remainder of the year and into 2018. Be on the lookout for their new ventures, the MENA Learning Portal and KDSL Global Gives 10!

 

ABOUT KDSL Global

KDSL Global is a USA and UAE-based leading learning organization focused on empowering educators and education businesses globally. To find out more information visit http://www.kdslglobal.com.

 

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

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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 COLLABORATES WITH EDUCATORS HOME SHARE

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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.