KDSL Global interviews Marla Hunter

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Our KDSL Global Intern recently had the opportunity to interview Marla Hunter of Live. Love.Teach!, LLC. Currently, Hunter is based in the United Arab Emirates and passionate about coaching, diversity, and inclusion. She is a new collaborating partner with KDSL Global with plans to focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the international education space.

 

Tell us about your work mentoring teachers.

I have been mentoring educators for almost 10 years now. Without mentors or instructional coaches, teachers would flounder in every decision they make. I use practical strategies to support the teachers that I coach and elevate. This helps to improve the quality of education for students.

Below are the steps that I use during coaching/mentoring

  • Reassuring new teachers
  • Providing encouragement to all
  • Offering feedback
  • Being there during the “oh no!” and “ah ha!” moments
  • Reflecting together

 

Tell us about your work towards moving schools to embrace diversity and inclusion.

Diversity and inclusion is something that I have been working on since I began my work in education 15 years ago. It is important to remember that it is the responsibility of educators to embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) of the students in their care; whether the student is in their immediate classroom or not. NPR‘s Bill Chappell reports that, according to the Census Bureau, “By around 2020, ‘more than half of the nation’s children are expected to be part of a minority race or ethnic group.’” Can you imagine that this is just the USA? Just think about GLOBAL education. When I moved abroad I helped to start a Facebook group catered to People of Color (POC) teaching abroad and wanting to move abroad to teach.  I have conducted several Periscopes and Facebook Live conversations to discuss DEI and other concepts of global education.

As a collective we need to stop talking about DEI in international education and start taking action.

  • Building community
  • Building trust
  • Instruction/Professional Development

 

What leadership coaching services do you offer?

I offer the following services that can be found on my website:

https://www.missmarlahunter.com/coachingservices/

  • Teacher Mentoring
  • Leadership Coaching
  • Technology Coaching
  • Employee Training and Development

https://www.missmarlahunter.com/professional-development/

 

M Hunter

After a successful career of teaching in both public and private education in Nashville (TN), Memphis (TN), and Orlando (FL), Marla Hunter is now teaching internationally and has taught in the following places: China (Shenzhen), Nigeria (Abuja), and currently the UAE (Al Ain).

Marla graduated from University of Memphis, by way of Oakwood College (now University), with a Bachelor’s in K-8 Education and from Nova Southern University’s MATL (Master’s of Teaching and Learning) program where she earned a degree in Curriculum and Instruction.

It is believed that as educators we must work to inspire the students with a love of learning. We must also teach them how to learn and equip them with the tools necessary for their next step in life. The child must work to be teachable, to practice their lessons faithfully, and to learn from their mistakes and from the mistakes of others. Finally, the classroom must encourage curiosity, foster thinking, and facilitate productivity. It must be a safe and inviting environment in the eyes of the child.

Marla is a firm believer in the use of EdTech & a lover of Maths. She has participated and facilitated several math initiatives in Tennessee and Mt. Holyoke University: SITES-M School (Strengthening Instruction in Tennessee Elementary Schools) – Focus on Mathematics, Summer Math for Teachers Working with Data: DMI Training/ DMI Facilitation Training, Summer Math for Teachers Geometry: Examining Features of Shape DMI Training/ DMI Facilitation Training, and SITES-M DMI Training for Teachers Number and Operations, Part 1 Building a System of Tens: Calculating with Whole Numbers and Decimals. She also provided quarterly Parent PD (Early Childhood Parent Sessions) in Reading, Math, and STEM/STEAM at the International School of Abuja.

Marla’s school in Nashville, TN was also the anchor school to begin the use of Common Core State Standards for the state. Marla receive training and became a trainer in CCSS for both K-8 Maths. She developed workshops to help educators in Memphis & Orlando. She also helps school districts, homeschool co-ops & various educational companies development EdTech and other curriculums for their various programs.

 

 

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New KDSL Global Senior Associate

Mona

Meet Mona Fairley Nelson, our new KDSL Global Senior Associate.
 
Mona Fairley-Nelson is an educational leader who has served in numerous international schools since relocating abroad in 2014. Mrs. Fairley-Nelson’s vast leadership experience includes: developing international partnerships with colleges and universities to support school innovation, developing quality instructional practices in K-12th grade, accreditation planning and report writing, multidivisional strategic planning and school improvement, budgeting development and allocation for organizational growth, implementing effective leadership and supervision models, and creating sustainable practices for start-up schools across the globe.
 
The majority of Mrs. Fairley-Nelson’s work in education has centered on supporting American curriculum schools in the NESA region. She presented at the MENA Teacher Summit in Dubai, AAIE conference in San Francisco, and the END conference in Portugal. Additionally, she organized the PEAK 2019 educational conference in Kuwait which hosted over one thousand of the country’s educators. In August of 2019, Mrs. Fairley-Nelson will expand her professional reach to include the AASSA region as well.
 
Mrs. Fairley-Nelson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development, a Master of Education degree in Elementary Education, and a Master of K-12 Leadership and Supervision degree. She is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education degree in International Educational Leadership from Wilkes University.

#AAIEGlobalsowhite

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“It’s important that the leadership of international schools reflects the increasing diversity of students and families in those schools, especially since many studies have shown that diverse teams make better decisions and such teams provide effective role models for all students.”
-Liz Duffy, ISS President

 

A global community that connects diverse people, ideas and resources, AAIE helps international educators lead with vision, wisdom, courage and integrity.

AAIE is the worldwide organization that connects school leaders to new ideas, opportunities– serving as a disruptive influence– and change agent to ensure the viability, integrity and future of overseas schools.

Conduct “summits” on critical issues with eye toward development of both cadre of current leaders and toward building capacity in next generation of leaders

 

I joined AAIE based on these three statements above.  Last year after attending #AAIE2018 there was a shock after noticing how much the international education leadership community lacked in the diversity department. There was talk at a session about critical issues (diversity being one of the topics). A hard decision was made not to attend #AAIE19 being that I was a member and studying in the AAIE Institute for International School Leadership.

 

Happy to see the topics below at the 2019 AAIE Conference CONVERSATION but do question if the strategic plan will shift at AAIE as well as at ALL international schools around diversity, equity, and inclusion in international leadership.

 

AAIE 2019 Deeper Dive Sessions:

  • Moving Beyond Conversation to Meaningful Action:Fostering Diversity, Inclusion and Equity in International School Leadership

 

  • Becoming A More Inclusive School: Having the Heart to Lead With Vision, Wisdom, and Integrity

 

  • Finding Our Future Leaders

 

  • Diversity is Not the Goal: Exploring Transformational Principles to Build Equity, Engagement and Relationship

 

  • Frameworks & Tools for Achieving Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in International School Leadership

 

To further add to the CONVERSATION and ensure we all stay the course a new hashtag is being born: #AAIEGlobalsowhite

 

The next generation of international leaders are diverse, disruptive, and want their voice included. We are ready to collaborate and add to the CONVERSATION. Is AAIE ready to listen?