KDSL Global interviews Sue Beers

MISIC Logo

 

Our KDSL Global Intern recently had the opportunity to interview Sue Beers, the Executive Director of MISIC. Now serving 160+ school districts in Iowa and other states, MISIC began in 1998 as a collaborative between 15 school districts in central Iowa.

 

What inspired you to work in education and curriculum? 

My mother and grandmother were teachers. I just followed in their footpaths! My interest in curriculum development came for designing my own lessons and curriculum, as we had no state or local curriculum guides. I received a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction and while doing that study, became intrigued with not only writing curriculum, but leading others in this work as well. As a Director of Curriculum for 19 years, I had the opportunity to work with teachers from all content areas and grade levels to design and implement high-quality curriculum.

 

Tell us about the books you have written for ASCD.

As a former language arts teacher, literacy has always been my passion. Early in my career, I discovered that I had a significant number of high school students who were reading below the 5th grade level. I also realized that even my high-performing students were unable to independently process and understand the content-area text that they encountered. Many had simply stopped reading and waited for teachers to tell them what they needed to know.

I started researching and studying how to help students use text to learn in all content areas. This has been my lifelong passion and resulted in my writing 5 Action Tools for ASCD in the area of literacy in the content areas. The books were Reading Strategies for the Content Areas, Reading Strategies for the Content Areas Volume 2, Writing to Learn in the Content Areas, Adolescent Literacy, and Teaching 21st Century Skills, which included a great deal of literacy connections.

In addition to literacy, I am passionate about providing high-quality professional development programs for teachers and administrators. ASCD asked me to develop a set of tools for this, resulting in another action tool on this topic.

 

 

What is the importance of integrating literacy skills in science curriculum?

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) standards include alignment to the literacy skills students need to be able to read, write about and talk about science concepts. If one knows a lot about science, but cannot share that knowledge by communicating with others, the advantage of that knowledge is loss. If they cannot read science content, they will miss a key method for gaining science knowledge. There are specific tools and methods for reading science that need to be explicitly presented to students. Science teachers are not asked to be reading and writing teachers, but rather to use reading and writing to help students learn their science content. Science teachers need to help students unlock the content by giving them the tools they need to comprehend the unique structures, vocabulary and nuances of scientific language. In addition, they need to provide opportunities for students to write about their learning in order to deepen and sharpen their understanding.

 

To learn more about MISIC visit http://misiciowa.org.

 

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Making connections among a myriad of initiatives and supporting learning through humor and example are professional passions for Sue Z. Beers.  In workshops delivered across the country, Sue shares strategies and tools for creating effective learning opportunities that prepare students for college, careers and citizenship.  Improving teaching and learning will necessitate that teachers, administrators and district personnel participants deeply examine their own current practices against best practices.

Sue’s 40-year career as a classroom teacher, program coordinator and district administrator has provided her with hands-on experience in the areas of effective teaching and school improvement.   As the founder and current Director of the MISIC Consortium, Beers works with over 160 school districts in Iowa and other states in guiding the alignment of curriculum, instruction and assessment in order to improve student learning.

As a consultant, speaker and ASCD Consultant, Sue has shared her expertise and experience with school districts and educational organizations nationally and internationally to improve teaching and learning in the areas of

  • Using Professional Learning Communities to Achieve Effective Instructional Change
  • Leading the Implementation of the CCSS: Strategies and Resources
  • CCSS Implementation in Literacy and Math Classrooms
  • Key Shifts of the CCSS in Literacy and Math
  • Reading and Writing Strategies in the Content Areas
  • Literacy Across the Curriculum
  • 21stCentury Teaching and Learning
  • Professional Development Planning
  • School Improvement Planning
  • Effective teaching strategies
  • Curriculum Development
  • Assessing Student Learning
  • Using Data to Inform Instruction

 

Sue co-authored ASCD’s “Leading the Common Core” professional development institute and is also the co-author of Reading Strategies for the Content Areas:  An ASCD Action Tool, Volumes 1 and II  and Using Writing to Learn Across the Content Areas:  An ASCD Action Tool.   She has also authored an ASCD Action Tool on Strategies for Designing, Implementing and Evaluating Professional Development, Adolescent Literacy and Teaching 21st Century Skills.

 

 

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KDSL Global interviews Mirai

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Our KDSL Global Intern recently had the opportunity to interview Nyla Tariq, Co-Founder of Mirai. They are passionate educators, founders & strategists shaping innovative learning & leadership to prepare you for the future now.

What inspired you to start Mirai?

The belief that education and learning are critical drivers of preparing people of all ages and countries for the future workforce. It isn’t just about starting schools and neither is it about creating workforce training programs, it’s about creating ecologies of learning and innovation that have measurable impact, that encourage learning and that help people find opportunities.

 

What was the mission at the outset?

The mission is to bring together the best in learning design, learning technologies and innovation to ensure employability, opportunity and innovation for people of all ages, races, and backgrounds. We saw a huge gap in what was happening on the ground, in schools and in workplaces versus what needs to be happening for future workforce needs.

 

What is the most important thing that you are working on right now and how are you making it happen?

While technology is not the definition of innovation, it is definitely a driver. We are focusing our efforts right now in sourcing the best in learning technologies from different parts of the world, and bringing it to the Middle East and Asia to be able to scale the impact of great learning.

We are working with schools and corporates on creating ecologies of innovative learning through learning & leadership consulting, predictive analytic models and digital learning.

 

To learn more about Mirai visit https://www.miraipartners.co.

 

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Nyla Tariq is motivated to create global social change. Her work spans 4 continents & all ages of learners, innovating to build people’s talents and capabilities.

She co-launched Mirai, one of the Middle East’s first innovation consultancies, to help schools, businesses, & governments prepare for the future.

Prior to that, she led business development at NYU StartEd Accelerator, working with leading startups & investors in the U.S EdTech space. Nyla has led growth & training for one of the U.A.E’s top teacher development & training platforms and has worked to implement workforce strategies for thousands of GCC based blue-collar workers.

She also co-founded Kids World Group in the U.A.E, a network of boutique Montessori nurseries delivering affordable & high-quality early years education. At Kids World, she led operations, taught toddlers fine-motor skills, & trained teachers.

Nyla is a passionate advocate of gender & minority rights. To that end, she has personally educated men on gender-based violence in the favelas of Brazil and taught English to increase the employability of women in refugee camps in Greece.

 

 

KDSL Global interviews Power On

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Our KDSL Global Intern recently had the opportunity to interview Sara Shadravan, Executive Director of Power On. PowerOn is a California-based youth empowerment non-profit organization helping youth, parents and educators to discover their intrinsic value as human beings by providing meaningful educational and coaching experiences.

How did you get involved with Power On?

After 25 years teaching oversees in International schools, I returned to the US and was increasingly aware of the stress, anxiety and low self-esteem facing youth today. Bullying and school shootings are on the rise, parents are worried about their children and their futures, and educators feel overwhelmed. A group of leaders, educators and mental health professionals came together to think about what was needed to transform school communities and Power On was founded in September 2017. We are a youth empowerment organization. We help youth, parents and educators to discover their intrinsic value as human beings by providing meaningful educational and coaching experiences. In these, we address core challenges facing these three audiences and provide them the tools and techniques needed for them to create personal and professional success.

 
What are your inspirations for focusing on social emotional learning?

The power of perspective is real and social emotional learning is essential in promoting collaboration, self-reflection and resilience. Understanding your true value, what makes you happy and how you can contribute to your communities provides security in unpredictable times. Based on current research, positive psychology and youth input, we address the issues uppermost in the minds of youth today. How can I make a difference in the world? What does my future hold? Who can I count on? Do I have what it takes to be successful, how will I know? Am I safe?

 
Tell us about the variety of workshops your company offers.

We offer four different workshops catering to Youth, Parents and Educators. For youth – a 12 module interactive inquiry based program focusing on understanding your true value, what makes you happy and how you can contribute to your communities. Based on current research, positive psychology and youth input, we address the issues uppermost in the minds of youth today. How can I make a difference in the world? What does my future hold? Who can I count on? Do I have what it takes to be successful, how will I know? Am I safe? We explore the concepts of self, community, perspective, power and privilege and self-advocacy.

For parents – a 7 module workshop introducing the power of positive Psychology and personalized parenting. How to make the most of what you have to offer and how to grow your child’s potential and passions.

For educators – a 7 module workshop introducing a strengths approach in the classroom. How to give your most and identify the best in students. We focus on growing the good first, rather than fixing what is wrong first.

Train the educators – this is a training for educators to become trainers of the youth program. An introduction to inquiry based teaching and learning.

We also offer personalized coaching for parents.

To learn more about Power On
https://poweronpeople.org

https://www.facebook.com/PowerOnPeople/
https://www.instagram.com/poweronpeople/
https://www.linkedin.com/company/poweronpeople/

 

Sara Shadravan Picture

Sara Shadravan is known for her enthusiasm and her love of learning. Currently, she serves as the Executive Director of Power On.  Power On is a youth empowerment non-profit organization helping youth, parents and educators to discover their intrinsic value as human beings by providing meaningful educational and coaching experiences. She has a background in Montessori education and has worked for the past 25 years, as a teacher, curriculum developer and educational leader to transform school communities. She has worked extensively in South East Asia, the Middle East and Southern Africa, opening International schools that foster independence and open-minded inquiry.  Sara advocates for a holistic approach to education in which parents, teachers and students are equal stakeholders in the learning process. She has led parent-teacher associations, hosted community events and run extracurricular learning experiences for students and parents. She worked with the IBO to provide training to local teachers in Cambodian schools and partnered with the Ministry of Education in Swaziland to improve local preschools. Sara returned to the USA two years ago and is delighted to leverage her extensive expertise to assist youth, educators and parents to identify their personal qualities and passions. She holds multiple teaching credentials and is a certified coach from the Institute for Social & Emotional Intelligence.  As Director of Power On, she hosted youth retreats and worked with the Charter School Grace Hopper Stem Academy to pilot the strength- based inquiry program that facilitates growth in Social Emotional Intelligence. Sara has three grown daughters and two grandchildren.

Meet our KDSL Global Intern – Tanner Lauren Harris

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Tanner Lauren Harris is a junior at Oregon State University studying accounting and education with a focus on multicultural education. She has over four years of experience working with educational companies, including MidSchoolMath and Imagine Education, developing organizational systems for curriculum, mailing marketing campaigns, assisting in planning of national conferences, and working behind the scenes to complete invoices, payroll, business reimbursements, and other accounting projects. Tanner recently received her Protecting Student and Civil Rights in the Educational Environment Professional Teaching Licensure in preparation to become a substitute teacher. By the end of this internship, Tanner hopes to gain a worldwide understanding of education and increase her global awareness of other cultures.

New KDSL Global Senior Associate

Ashley S. Green

Meet Ashley Green, our new KDSL Global Senior Associate.

Ashley Green’s passion for global education has led to her teaching in classrooms and collaborating with teachers from all over the world. Her desire to become a global educator began when she taught students in England, and had the chance to make connections between the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program and Common Core standards. Since then, she’s honed those skills in Dubai; in both Elementary and Middle school settings as a full time classroom practitioner.

 

Ashley is a lifelong learner and believes that while she is an educator; she will always be striving to improve her own practice. She’s currently employed as a Middle School Math Teacher Leader, specializing in differentiating within the Secondary Math classroom. She also works as an Achievement Coach, assisting students with preparing for life beyond grade school.

 

Ashley holds a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction and has developed and written curriculums for English, Language Arts and Mathematics for grades 3-8. She obtained a Gifted Endorsement in 2015 and also served as an ambassador for Gifted and Talented Education in Georgia, USA. Ashley was selected in 2018 as the first ASCD Emerging Leader based in the Middle East.

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.

New KDSL Global Manager of Learning

Rashenah-Walker

Meet Rashenah Walker, our new KDSL Global Manager of Learning. In this role Walker will manage projects in our professional learning portfolio for the MENA region.

Rashenah Walker is an international curriculum specialist and educational trainer. She holds a Master’s degree in Education majoring in Instructional Technology and is a dual major Doctoral Candidate in Educational Leadership and Curriculum Design. Rashenah began her career in the United States as special education and Advanced Placement teacher. Since then, she has worked in the areas of curriculum design, educational administration, organizational needs analysis, and teacher development. As an independent contractor, Rashenah has completed professional development training for TESOL, College Board, Edmodo, and KDSL Global making significant contributions to educational organizations within the U.S. and internationally. Currently, she is serving on the TESOL Professional Standards Council, has appeared as a guest on the radio show Myk12career.com, in addition to winning multiple Global Education Supplies and Solutions (GESS) awards for her research on using Edmodo in schools.

KDSL Global interviews The GEMS Camp Founder Saki Milton

KDSL Global recently had an opportunity to connect with Saki Milton, Founder of The GEMS Camp.  The GEMS Camp, launched in summer 2010 as a free 6-week Saturday camp, preparing urban girls in grades 7 through 9 to be well-rounded, confident, and ready for college and beyond.  Since its inception, The GEMS Camp has been instrumental in inspiring more than 200 girls in STEM studies and is hosted annually at The University of North Texas at Dallas.

 

What was your inspiration to work in STEM?

As a secondary mathematics classroom teacher, every year I saw 1-2 kids in each class who actually wanted to learn. They were focused, studious, hard-working, and hungry for a challenge. Unfortunately, with the challenges many teachers like myself face in an urban classroom, those students are typically the ones who end up getting shafted. Large classroom sizes, disrespect, and lack of resources are issues an urban teacher faces on a daily basis. I know I did. My heart broke every time I saw a girl who reminded me of myself as a student, but wasn’t getting the quality education that every child should receive because I was too busy dealing with classroom management or catching up those who were 1-2 grade levels behind. Going home every night knowing that I wanted to do more led me to action.

In 2010, I was teaching at an IB school. I was so moved by my students’ personal projects that I decided to explore my own summer project to give back to those students in my neighborhood. That’s when I started The GEMS Camp. I started The GEMS Camp for the girls who are ridiculed for being smart. Girls who do everything they’re supposed to do, but have to stay in their environments just because they don’t have anywhere else to go. I wanted to give them what was given to me – a quality learning experience that made me curious about the world and compassionate about others in a safe environment. Over the years, my interest in STEM has grown as demands for the workforce have changed. I’ve realized the significance of preparing students for jobs of the future, especially problems facing the environment or those with disabilities.

I believe that the shortages in STEM fields can be filled by preparing more women, which currently account for about 13% of the U.S. STEM workforce. To do so, we need to prepare girls with knowledge and skills but also equip them with confidence to be successful in such fields. My involvement in the community led me to combine my background, experience and passion into forming a nonprofit organization. I encourage teachers to find ways to explore their talents and interests beyond the bell.

 

Tell us about the GEMS Camp

The mission of The GEMS Camp (Girls interested in Engineering, Mathematics, and Science) is to build confidence in urban teen girls in grades 7-12 through five core areas called the 5 Karat Gems – Academics, Career, Creativity, Leadership, and Service– so that they will be successful in STEM studies and careers. The Organization’s vision is to change the trajectory of generational poverty for underrepresented girls’ families.

We teach girls how to be CREATIVE thinkers and communicators – a valuable life skill to help them break away from the pack. They learn LEADERSHIP strategies through a one-of-a-kind, research-based curriculum addressing specific needs of urban girls. Third, girls participate in SERVICE to help them internalize the value of giving back to a greater cause. The camp also prepares girls through ACADEMICS by using rigorous and engaging lessons and experiments led by highly qualified instructors. And finally, The GEMS Camp addresses CAREER opportunities to its participants by inviting local, successful STEM women to speak about their professions and personal backgrounds.

The program started in 2010 as a Saturday day camp servicing 30 rising 7th-9th-grade girls held at a public library in Dallas, Texas. Since 2017, the model has evolved to a one-week residential Summer Experience program held at the University of North Texas at Dallas. The program concludes with a Graduation Ceremony and Community Exhibition, recognizing girls for completion and achievements throughout the program. The GEMS Camp continues to gain momentum reaching more students while maintaining authenticity to its mission. To date, we have served roughly 400 girls, exposing them to more than 30 North Texas female STEM professionals representing major corporations and organizations such as IBM, Atmos Energy, Frito Lay/Pepsico, Mary Kay, Inc., Hilti, Texas Instruments, HKS Architects and more.

One of our greatest accomplishments is the expansion of our mission to include helping girls build global STEM networks through travel. In June 2018, eight high school girls traveled to Italy (Naples, Rome, and Florence) to explore the “M” in STEM, studying geometric concepts of ancient and modern architecture, technology, and engineering. June 5-15, 2019, ten girls will have the opportunity to participate in a culture exchange in the United Arab Emirates (Dubai and Abu Dhabi) with local female STEM girls, while the Dallas camp will be held, June 21-28, 2019.

 

What do you see as the future of STEM?

To address the whole child, The GEMS Camp program design is rooted in the latest STEM education research, primarily STEM Learning Ecosystems (SLE’s)and incorporates best practices for bringing minority and low-income girls into the STEM career pipeline. In the future, I foresee STEM education headed more down this path based on reports I’ve read. The phrase STEM learning ecosystem has emerged from early works of human development research. SLE models include children at the center influenced directly by other people (e.g., family, friends) and settings (e.g., schools, neighborhoods) and indirectly by their environment and culture. Students shape and influence their environment and narrative via connections with other learners, community representatives, and the broader scope of world culture. I believe more funding will shift towards collaborative partnerships that are operating with this model. The emergence of newer adaptations of STEM –STEAM and STREAM will continue to take place.

However, long-term sustainability of such concepts are dependent upon the global job market. All of the data still point to science, technology, engineering and math-based positions; not the arts – though I am a firm believer and supporter of the arts. Until we see extreme shortages and disparities in the arts, as it pertains to STEM, I am not fully convinced yet that STEM is on its way out nor STEAM has enough critical mass to sustain its current popularity. But, I could be wrong; I hope it is not a fad.

Unlike the early days of STEM where emphasis was on engineering and computer science, I do believe greater increase in the sciences –biology, environment, and chemistry — will experience tremendous growth as human impact, biological warfare, and medical care are becoming macro-economic issues for both government and private sector.

To learn more about The GEMS Camp visit:

https://www.thegemscamp.org

 

Saki Milton

 

Saki Milton is an experienced mathematics educator with more than 20 years in the education industry including adult learning, curriculum writing, coaching, market development, consulting, and most importantly eight years of classroom teaching. Passionate about STEM education, Saki is known for her extensive work in the U.S. by founding The GEMS Camp (Girls interested in Engineering, Mathematics and Science), a non-profit organization whose mission is to build confidence in girls in grades 7-10 in five core areas called the 5 Karat Gems – Academics, Career, Creativity, Leadership, and Service – so that they will be successful in STEM studies and beyond. The organization has served more than 350 girls across Texas since 2010, partnering with major STEM employers such as BP Oil, Pepsico-FritoLay, HESS Corporation, and NASA to name a few. Saki has worked for Pearson Education Middle East as the U.S. Schools Curriculum Manager, delivering educator support to American international schools across the gulf region. Today, she is an independent international educational consultant working on worthwhile edTech and publishing projects globally. Saki holds a B.A. in mathematics from The University of Texas at Austin and an M.B.A. in marketing from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

KDSL Global Founder selected as a judge for Top School Awards in the United Arab Emirates

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SchoolsCompared.com has announced the judges for the SchoolsCompared.com Top Schools Awards 2019. Seven senior educationalists will assess the final shortlist, and choose one single winner in each category.

The 2019 judges include the founder of the Emirates Literature Festival, Isobel Abulhoul OBE; the former head of the UK boarding association and Repton, Dubai, Jonathan Hughes -D’Aeth; former Samoan dual code international and professional rugby player, and owner of Apollo Sporting Academy, Apollo Perelini; former head of School Development for Sobha, and founder of the Education Intelligence Group, Shaun Robison; founder of the Early Years Educational Services and a recognised authority in Early Years, Sarah Rogers; founder of professional learning organisation KDSL Global, Kevin Simpson, and Which Media’s Head of Community, Lyn Soppelsa.

To learn more visit https://whichschooladvisor.com/uae/school-news/top-school-awards-judges-announced.