KDSL Global interviews Luke Meinen of Level 5 Bahrain

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Our KDSL Global Intern recently had the opportunity to interview with Luke Meinen, Manager of Level 5 Bahrain. This is an initiative of International School Services, a nonprofit that leads schools, facilitates recruitment and provides best-in-breed learning solutions.

 

Tell us about LEVEL 5. 

First and foremost, LEVEL 5 is a nonprofit that hosts creative learning experiences for students, educators and the wider community on a myriad of topics that aim to spark innovation and creativity in education.

The first LEVEL 5 opened in Shenzhen, China four years ago and has proved to be a successful platform to help educators shift practice, design real-world, experiential learning, and ignite passion within students in the creative spaces. With the success of LEVEL 5 China, we saw the opportunity to expand this endeavor into the MENA region opening LEVEL 5 Bahrain at Riffa Views International School.

Our professional learning workshops focus on three categories; making, contemporary pedagogy, and innovative leadership. This wide range of events will help us provide a new type of professional learning for region. These workshops are available for educators, community members and students as we recognize the power of young and old working and learning together.

During the 2019-2020 school year, we will host 12 full weekend workshops, night events, and single day weekend learning experiences. These events will be facilitated by both local and international educators and artists from around the world.

For a full listing of events, workshops and learning experiences, check out www.thelevel5.org/bahrain. For any questions, please reach out to level5bh@iss.edu.

 

Tell us about the new space with the Riffa Views International School.

The creation of LEVEL 5 has been a process that has taken a full year to complete as we knew we wanted this space to reflect the school community it resided in. We were gracious enough to have been given a beautiful space with huge amounts of natural light as a blank canvas.

In order to leverage the ideas of the entire RVIS community, we invited staff, students and parents into the space to help us co-create this new space. We loosely followed a Design Sprint model to rapidly ideate, prototype and test ideas from all who participated. You can read about this process in detail here Co-creating Authentic Change. This helped us gather the best ideas from the entire community to begin the process of designing this new agile space.

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For LEVEL 5 to be successful, it requires a completely agile space that can be reconfigured to meet the needs of any type of workshop or learning experience. Utilizing prior successes of the LEVEL 5 China, research from the Stanford d School and a plethora of other resources we designed the space around this concept. Writable surfaces for ideation everywhere, agile furniture, smooth transitional flooring and caster wheels on EVERYTHING have helped us create this flexible space.

Actual construction of the space took three months to complete (time lapse of construction), and it was launched in late May of the 2018-2019 academic year. Along with this beautiful new physical space, we will also be out fitting it with a host of creative tools like 3D printers, laser engravers, microcontrollers, traditional fabrication tools, and much more. These will be for students, parents, educators and community members to use design, create and test new and innovative ideas.

During the day, LEVEL 5 will be open to the RVIS community and students to use. We are not using it as a traditional space to host scheduled classes, but more as an open space that can be booked by the teachers. The hope is to have these ideals and innovative practices flow into classrooms rather than being isolated in the space. Our aim is to help inspire the students in our school by providing them with the same type of learning experiences that happen during our professional learning workshops both inside LEVEL 5 and out.

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What strategies do you use to activate the Bahrain educational community?

Over the past year, another focus for LEVEL 5 Bahrain has been to activate the educational community across the island by building collaborative relationships between schools. In Bahrain, the relationships that have been built up between schools are often competitive in nature through sports, competitions, and other events. There were pockets of collaboration, but we wanted this to grow as we know that when educators share knowledge and practice, everyone wins, especially the students.

With this in mind, we began to systematically create opportunities for sharing, collaborating and learning that were open to all educators on the island regardless of what school they taught at. We created a What’s App group to share ideas and learning opportunities, promoted an existing Facebook group, started a shared hashtag (#bahrainedu) to deprivatize the great things that were happening in classrooms around the island, and started events called #TeachmeetBahrain to provide opportunities to physically meet up and share.

In just a year, some great things have happened, and I believe that this will continue to grow as more people engage in these opportunities to collaborate. For a detailed look into this, you can find the steps we took here; Activating Your Educational Community.

 

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Luke Meinen is the manager of LEVEL 5, Bahrain where he coordinates events and workshops and facilitates learning experiences. Over the past year, he has worked to co-create this new space with the Riffa Views International School community. He is also working to activate the education community in Bahrain through the organization of TeachMeets, collaborative groups and social gatherings for educators and leaders.

 

Prior to joining LEVEL 5, he worked as an elementary educator for nine years in East Asia, Africa and the Middle East designing authentic learning experiences for his classes and colleagues. He enjoys fabrication, playing basketball, surfing and spending time with his family in his free time.

 

 

 

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KDSL Global interviews Leisa Grace Wilson of Teach Middle East Magazine

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Our KDSL Global Intern recently had the opportunity to interview Leisa Grace Wilson of Teach Middle East Magazine. This is the premier magazine for educators and the entire education sector in the Middle East and beyond. They offer information on a wide range of topics ranging from finance, culture, travel, leadership, school news, and more.

 

Tell us about the Teach Middle East Magazine.

Teach Middle East Magazine is the premier magazine for educators and the entire education sector in the Middle East and beyond. Our vision is to equip educators with the materials and tools they need, to function optimally in and out of the classroom. We provide a space for educators to connect, find inspiration, resources and forums that are aimed at enhancing their teaching techniques, methodologies and personal development. We connect education suppliers and service providers to the people who make the buying decisions in schools.

 

What topics are you hoping to cover in the future?

The upcoming Volume 7 of Teach Middle East Magazine will continue to feature strategy filled articles, interviews and research-backed pieces for the connected educator.

 

What is your editorial style?

Teach Middle East Magazine focusses on ensuring that the articles it carries add value to educators and help them to perform optimally both inside and outside of the classroom. The magazine is divided into two sections. ‘Class Time’ and ‘After the Bell’ catering to both the professional and personal development of educators.

 

To learn more about Teach Middle East Magazine visit https://teachmiddleeastmag.com/

For their latest issue visit https://teachmiddleeastmag.com/teach-middle-east-magazine-sep-dec-2019-issue-1-volume-7/

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Leisa Grace Wilson is the Editorial Director of Teach Middle East Magazine. She has been working in education for the past twenty-two years as a teacher, Head of Department, Education Advisor and Vice-principal. Leisa Grace has worked in the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates. In 2014 she joined Teach Middle East Magazine, where she shares her passion for education through her writing and editing of the print and online issues of the magazine. She is also a speaker and has presented at education conferences globally.

 

 

KDSL Global interviews Allison Rodman of the Learning Loop

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Our KDSL Global Intern recently had the opportunity to interview Allison Rodman of The Learning Loop. Allison challenges schools and districts to examine all aspects of their learning organization and focus on the connections among culture, collaboration, and communication as levers for growth.

 

What is the importance of personalizing the learning process for educators?

We look to teachers to know their students, build strong relationships with them, and personalize learning to meet their interests, readiness, and learning preferences, yet these considerations are often neglected when designing and facilitating professional learning for educators (at all levels). This is not unique to education and is a universal challenge within adult education. However, it is perhaps most concerning in the education space where we do not model the learning principles we expect teachers and leaders to implement themselves.

Additionally, we fail to recognize that adults learn in different ways than students. There is 50 years of andragogical research providing insight in this space, but we continue to ignore critical factors such as job-embedded practice, social construction, and relevance when designing professional learning experiences. We spend millions of dollars as schools, districts, and businesses to build human capital, but the engagements, for the most part, are designed and facilitated poorly.

 

 

How do your personalized professional learning services focus on improving culture?

I partner with schools, district, nonprofit organizations, and businesses to move beyond planning professional learning sessions as “events,” but instead, sustained “experiences” for intentional and targeted collaboration and growth. We look to create true learning organizations rather than simply one-time, sit-and-get workshops. Together, we examine a multitude of data points, including student achievement and growth data, observation and evaluation data, and staff needs assessments (as well as other metrics specific to each partner). We explore a continuum of learner agency and look for opportunities to elevate learner voice, co-creation, social construction, and self-discovery. In this way, learning experiences become not only purposeful and personalized, but also begin to shift the paradigm of learning within the organization as a whole in organic and authentic ways.

 

 

Tell us about your book “Personalized Professional Learning: A Job-Embedded Pathway for Elevating Teacher Voice.”

The book provides district and school administrators with a roadmap for transforming existing professional development programs into more effective and innovative learning experiences that elevate onsite expertise while still aligning with school and district priorities. It is a step-by-step guide for diagnosing, planning, executing, evaluating, and refining teachers’ professional learning. Supported by research and informed by the experiences of educators across the United States, the book distills best practices for adult learning into clear advice and ready-to-use tools.

 

For more information please visit http://www.thelearningloop.com.

 

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Allison Rodman is an educational consultant who provides professional learning services to districts, schools, and educational nonprofit organizations.

Allison is deeply committed to connecting educators together and sharing resources to personalize the learning process for all (both students and the educators who support them – at every level of the system).

The goal of her work is to support the whole child and whole educator to view learning as an ongoing experience and not an endpoint. This process includes learner voice, co-creation, social construction, and self-discovery.

 

 

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

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On Friday, October 4, and Saturday, October 5, MENA region teachers and teams will convene in Dubai as part ofan initiative of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Connected Community in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) called the Powered by 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 Powered by 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 Teacher Leader Evo Hannan said, “When you live a life beyond your limits, you have experiences beyond your imagination.”   Hannan will be the featured speaker on the first day of the summit andis currently the Spark Tank Coordinator at Dwight School Dubai. He continues to develop new ideas and leads a collective of innovative educators called ‘Innovation X’. He is also the founder of ‘Teacher Society’, a global education community that promotes teacher well-being and professional development, and the creator of the #INN4SDGs initiative.

 

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 interviews Rania Nasr

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Our KDSL Global Intern recently had the opportunity to interview Rania Nasr of Risalla Education Consulting. Currently, Nasr is based in the United Arab Emirates and passionate about training, teaching and learning, and shifting how Arabic and Islamic Education are taught in schools. Her company is a new collaborating partner with KDSL Global.

Tell us about Risalla Education Consulting.

Risalla Education Consulting provides hands-on workshops designed specifically for teachers of Arabic, Social Studies, Moral Education, and Islamic Education. We aim to help them create a student-focused learning environment, quality lesson plans, differentiated activities and assessments, and engaging resources to increase the level of student engagement and enhance the overall learning experience. We are a Dubai-based training and education consultancy, exclusively dedicated to improving the teaching and learning of those subjects across the region. By incorporating the most recent teaching methods and practices, our workshops focus on how to engage students in higher order thinking skills within those subject areas, and keep them motivated to achieve the standards set by the Ministry of Education.

Our cross-cultural domain expertise gives us unique insight and ability to cater to the challenges currently facing Arabic and Islamic Education departments in the GCC. We understand that teachers come from varying backgrounds in education, with different outlooks on teaching and learning. In order to unify and improve this framework, it is important to bridge the gaps between Western pedagogy and Arabic/Islamic culture by providing specialized training for teacher of those subjects. Our vision is to strengthen those departments from the ground up so that they are in line with other subject areas and meet international standards of education. We provide a range of services and resources to suit each and every school needs, schedule and budget.

Our services include, but are not limited to:

  • Workshops:  Hands-on and focused, delivering best teaching practices, covering everything from effective lesson planning to differentiated assessments
  • Coaching:  Working closely with individual teachers during school visits, observations conducted to assess learning within the classroom, designing a program that best fits the needs of the teacher/department
  • Curriculum Documentation: Aligning lesson plans to curriculum using standards and benchmarks, highlighting learning outcomes for each lesson
  • Recruitment: Assisting both schools and educator candidates, ensuring high quality teaching provision at our member schools.
  • Resources: Training teachers to design their own resources to facilitate learning to increase student engagement and motivation in the classroom

 

What challenges are Arabic and Islamic Education currently facing?

  • Arabic and Islamic Education in most schools are not in line with all other subject areas because they are not engaging enough to keep students focused and motivated, and in many cases students do not take pride in their language and culture.
  • Schools do not invest in training their Arabic and Islamic Education teachers on a continuous basis, and when training is provided it is not concise, specialized, or focused.
  • Students are generally unmotivated, uninterested, and shy away from these subject areas in international schools. There is little sense of pride and enthusiasm shown, and the underlying cause is always the method in which these subjects are being taught.
  • Teachers of Arabic and Islamic Education come from varying backgrounds and have different mindsets when it comes to education. Often times, their teaching methods are traditional and lack creativity.
  • Lack of online resources, and lack of engaging use of technology within the classroom

 

Tell us about the teacher training your company offers.

  • We have over 50 training courses approved by KHDA, and are delivered in both Arabic and English.
  • We work directly with teachers in our training’s through a hands-on learning environment.
  • Our training courses are themselves models of how to plan an effective lesson while considering differentiation, assessment for learning throughout the lesson, and engaging activities throughout. The training’s also focus on the ways in which teachers can ensure and measure progress within lessons.
  • Our training’s cover various topics and are based on the teacher’s development needs. The topics covered range from depth of knowledge, visual learning and inclusion to preparing for inspections and assessment data. We work with both teachers, and head of departments to ensure they are successful in expanding their skill sets and applying them into their work.

 

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About Risalla Education Consulting

Rania Nasr is the Managing Director and Head Trainer at Risalla Education Consulting. They are a Dubai-based training and education consultancy, exclusively dedicated to improving the teaching and learning of Arabic Islamic Education and Social Studies across the region. Our goal is to ultimately move away from traditional teacher-centered practices to creating a more learner-focused environment in the Arabic/Islamic classroom. By incorporating the most recent teaching methods and practices, our workshops focus on how to engage students in higher order thinking skills within these subject areas, while motivating them to achieve the standards set by the Ministry of Education.

To learn more about Risalla Education Consulting visit https://www.risalla.com.

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/

 

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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.

 

 

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