KDSL Global is a partner with the Middle East Maths Teacher Conference 2019


Middle East Maths Teachers Conference 

About: The third Middle East Maths Teachers Conference will bring 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 middle east classrooms. Years one and two were fantastic and this year is promising to be even bigger and better.

Conference activities and presentations will provide an opportunity to reflect on where we are, how far we have come and where we are going. As schools look for ways to improve, while providing students with high quality, teaching and learning in mathematics, this year’s conference will serve as an opportunity for scholarly exchange and discussion, hands-on workshops with leading experts as well as sharing good practice among schools, with the ultimate goal of improving student engagement and learning in mathematics across the region.

Who Will Attend: Heads of Mathematics Departments, Teachers of Mathematics, Teaching Assistants, School Administrators and Education Consultants.

Focus Areas:

  • Student Engagement & High Impact Mathematics Teaching Practices
  • Engaging Students: Technology Inside and Outside the Mathematics Classroom
  • Creating Quality Learning Environments
  • Diverse Students & Learning Strategies
  • Forging links between mathematics departments across schools
  • Formation of professional networks for the continued sharing of good practice and much more.


For more information please visit https://www.middleeastmaths.com.

Language Learning in Brazil with Julia Hedges

Photo #6 ETAs and hosts


KDSL Global recently had a chance to connect with Julia Hedges (pictured above in the pink scarf) after she served for five weeks in five different cities in Brazil. This was part of a collaboration with the Department of Education in Recife, universities, schools, and learning centers.


Tell us about your role and the project you served on in Brazil.

I was an English Language Specialist for the Department of State. My role was to serve teachers (through teacher training) in an underserved region of Brazil. I trained English language teachers on best practices of content-based language instruction. I worked in four different states and five different cities in Northeastern Brazil.


What was your new learning from this project?

I was reminded of the importance of intercultural understanding and experiences. Since I’ve been back to the United States, I have made even more of an effort to incorporate my students’ life experiences and cultures into lessons in order to engage them, and in order to create a safe learning environment based on mutual respect and understanding.


To learn more about Hedges and her work in Brazil please visit https://elprograms.org/sample-projects/english-language-specialist-julia-hedges-collaborates-etas-share-american-english-website-resources-imperatiz-brazil/


About Julia Hedges

Julia received her Master of Education in TESOL from Concordia University in Portland, Oregon and a Bachelor’s degree in both English and Spanish from the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana. She has taught English as a Second/Foreign Language in both the United States and throughout the Middle East to adolescents and adults. Recently, she worked as an instructor for Intensive English Programs (IEPs) in Colorado and Texas. In the Middle East, she taught English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in a variety of contexts, and she successfully founded and managed an English language center that focused on test preparation, English for Specific Purposes (ESP), and teacher training. She has trained teachers, in six different countries, on best practices for delivering their English language programs using communicative methodology. In 2014, she presented “Back to Basics” at TESOL Arabia, which described her experiences working with Iraqi teachers. Currently, she serves on the Colorado TESOL Board as the Teacher Education/Action Research SIG co-chair. Julia’s professional interests include ways of making classrooms more student-driven, using Computer Assisted- Language Learning (CALL) to supplement lessons and engage learners, and materials development.


Meet our KDSL Global Fellow – Samantha Rodriguez

KDSL Global is pleased to announce our new fellow.  The fellowship focuses on writing, leadership and launching a new education idea.

Sam buildOn

Samantha Rodriguez was born and raised in Long Island, New York and graduated from Providence College where she studied Public and Community Service and Political Science. ​Being the first in her family to graduate from college, the value of education was constantly emphasized. Samantha has spent the better part of her life working with youth in different contexts. Since graduating from Providence, Samantha has taught Math in Tsakane, South Africa, was a 9th Grade English Teacher in the South Bronx, has been a College Access Counselor, and is now a Service Learning Program Coordinator for buildOn in Chicago, Illinois. She simultaneously attends graduate school at the University of Illinois at Chicago working towards an MEd in Youth Development. Samantha has always believed that all students are worthy of a strong educational foundation as well as a strong support system that helps them become successful. With her MEd in Youth Development, it is Samantha’s goal to help create spaces that intentionally provide youth with opportunities to develop their interests, skills, and abilities.



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.

KDSL Global Founder joins the Center for Educational Improvement as an Advisory Board Member



KDSL Global Founder Kevin Simpson has joined the Center for Educational Improvement (CEI) Advisory Board. This group features national and international experts in the fields of education, neuroscience, and technology. Collectively, they provide CEI with critical strategic advice in fulfilling our mission to support and uplift schools through 21st century learning and leadership.

The Center for Educational Improvement (CEI) identifies, shares, and applies 21st century innovations in learning to guide school leaders as they improve their schools.

CEI’s approach is based on input from school principal advisors as well as their environmental scans and conversations with psychologists, neuroscientists, educators, engineers, scientists, other researchers, and policymakers. Bolstered by their relationship with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and its Foundation,  they are grateful for their continuing support.

CEI advises principals, teachers, leadership teams, and districts on how to implement evidence-based best practices to “fast track” academic progress and close gaps between the latest research on student achievement and what is practiced in schools. CEI also collaborates with principal mentors to design, implement, evaluate, refine, and disseminate research with the principal in mind. As they build bridges to educational excellence, CEI teams with other researchers, private companies, and government agencies.


To learn more about The Center for Educational Improvement please visit http://www.edimprovement.org/

Edcamp Sharjah

edcamp Sharjah1

Edcamps are free, organic, participant-driven, un-conferences that empower educators to maximize professional learning experiences and peer networks. It’s not just for one day it’s a professional development program and a movement. Edcamp Sharjah was held during November 2017 in the United Arab Emirates. The lead organizer was Dima Yousef. KDSL Global asked Dima about the recent Edcamp Sharjah.


What are sample topics that educators discussed at Edcamp Sharjah? 

Edcamp is an open, participant-driven unconference. The content is proposed and provided by the participants, and is often determined on the day of the event.

Some of the topics that were suggested and discussed were Innovation in the Classroom, Classroom Management, Gifted Students, College & Career Readiness, Student & Teacher relationships, Building a Fun Classroom, Project Based Learning, Assessment, Moral Education, and Student Centered Learning.


What were the outcomes of the day? 

Teachers, even student volunteers, were so engaged and excited about sharing ideas, tools and best practices. Because of Edcamp Sharjah, some participants asked me if we could have more Edcamps organized at their schools. The energy and the enthusiasm to learn and share knowledge is exactly why I am passionate about organizing professional development opportunities such as Edcamp.


How is Edcamp making a difference in educator’s lives?

The unique structure of an Edcamp gives teachers and participants a voice and a choice. It allows them to share their experiences and knowledge in a friendly relaxed environment.  Edcamps, unlike traditional conferences, are about having conversations, sharing ideas, asking questions, and, most importantly, making connections.


To learn more about Edcamp visit https://www.edcamp.org/ and Edcamp Sharjah go to https://edcamp.wikispaces.com/edcamp+Sharjah


END 2018 International Conference


KDSL Global is serving as a media partner for the END 2018 – International Conference on Education and New Developments being held in Budapest, Hungary, from 23 – 25 June, 2018. The International Conference seeks to provide some answers and explore the processes, actions, challenges and outcomes of learning, teaching and human development. Their goal is to offer a worldwide connection between teachers, students, researchers and lecturers, from a wide range of academic fields, interested in exploring and giving their contribution in educational issues. They wish to illustrate developments and new ways of thinking in these main fields:
• Teachers and Students
• Projects and Trends
• Teaching and Learning
• Organizational Issues

For more information visit http://www.end-educationconference.org/

The call for abstracts is due by 24 November 2017   http://end-educationconference.org/submission_abs/

KDSL Global and the GCC ASCD Connected Community Convenes the MENA Teacher Summit

GCC ASCD CC logo.jpg

KDSL Global and the GCC ASCD Connected Community Convenes the MENA Teacher Summit


Professional Development Targets MENA’s American Curriculum Teachers and Administrators  

DUBAI, UAE, April 19, 2017 – On Friday, October 6, and Saturday, October 7, MENA region American curriculum teachers and school leadership teams will convene at Esol Education’s Universal American School in Dubai as part of an initiative of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Connected Community in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Organized by KDSL Global, a UAE-based education company, the Teacher Summit seeks to improve teaching and learning and connect education professionals throughout the MENA region to the resources provided by ASCD.

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, college readiness, English Language Arts, Math, and Science Standards implementation. The audience for this conference will include classroom teachers, heads of department, program coordinators, school administrators, and organizations active in the educational sector.

Education expert Dr. Tom Hoerr has led schools for 37 years and is the Emeritus Head of School of the New City School in St. Louis, Missouri. He is a Scholar-In-Residence at University of Missouri – St. Louis and teaches in the principal preparation program. Hoerr worked as a teacher and principal, and founded and directed the Non-Profit Management Program at Washington University in St. Louis. He leads the Independent Schools Association of the Central States New Heads Network and holds a Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis.

Dr. Hoerr’s latest ASCD book is The Formative Five: Fostering Grit, Empathy, and Other Success Skills Every Student Needs. He makes the case that it is not enough to prepare students academically; we must prepare them to succeed in life. This will be the focus of the 6 October pre-conference and 7 October keynote address. Hoerr is also the author of Fostering Grit, The Art of School Leadership, Becoming a Multiple Intelligences School, and School Leadership for the Future. He has written more than 110 articles, and his “Principal Connection” column has been in Educational Leadership since 2004. Hoerr has presented at conferences around the world on grit, leadership, multiple intelligences, faculty collegiality, instructional leadership, and Success Skills.

Educators and school leaders from the MENA region American curriculum schools are encouraged to attend. Super early bird registration for the summit is now available until May. The agenda and the first announced featured speakers are found at www.menateachersummit.com.



KDSL Global is a UAE-based leading learning organization focused on empowering educators and education businesses globally.



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.


Kevin Simpson KDSL Global, menateachersummit@gmail.com, +971 55 344 9286

Mindfulness with Christine Lustik


We recently had the chance to interview Christine Lustik, a Montana-based entrepreneur and educator whose work focuses on mindfulness, and how mindfulness can help people improve their lives and their businesses. She is the owner of Mindfulness in Organizations.

What does mindfulness mean to you?

To me, mindfulness is the ability to find space before I act in any situation.  That space may be a second, but it’s enough to allow me to choose the response I won’t regret!  Mindfulness is also the ability to connect my body and my mind.  This allows me to have an early warning system when it comes to emotions and crazy thoughts. For example, I’ll feel my chest tighten or my forehead scrunch, and to me this immediately sends up a flag that says something is wrong!  So I relax my forehead and then go in with curiosity: Did something happen I didn’t like?  This process allows me to head off anxiety, worry, general grumpiness, and often more severe things like anger; things that aren’t going to end well. To me, mindfulness is an increase in the combination of self-awareness and external awareness.

What caused you to believe mindfulness was the key to increased happiness?

Well increased happiness is a tall order, but I can say that my personal experience caused me to believe in mindfulness and that, for me, it can increase happiness. I found it increased my personal happiness in a few key ways.  First, by being better able to regulate the ups and downs of emotions throughout a day, I stay on a more even keel and this keeps me more focused.  Why does focus increase my happiness?  Well, when I’m focused I’m able to attack projects and move forward in my day.  This makes me happy and makes me feel like my time is well spent!  Second, in mindfulness there is a concentration on self-compassion.  I know many people think they must be hard on themselves to “get stuff done” or “do the right thing.” But really, research shows us that when we are kinder to ourselves, we are more likely to move forward in a positive way, admit when we were wrong, and make positive changes.  This self-compassion goes a long way to increasing our satisfaction with our lives and therefore increasing our happiness! And finally, I find that most stress and anxiety comes from the past and the future; what we perceive we did wrong in the past, and the opportunities we must mess up tomorrow.  So it makes sense that the more time we spend in the present, the less time we spend in worry mode.  Experience helped me believe in mindfulness and that it could increase my day-to-day happiness and now I’m grateful to see these little changes increase happiness in the people I work with every day.

 When did you first come across mindfulness?

About 13 years ago, I started searching for some magic solution to the stress and anxiety in my life.  About 10 years ago, I stumbled across the contemplative practice of mindfulness.  I came to mindfulness much like many other people: I was burned out and tired.  I was working on a Ph.D. while running a Department of Distance Education in a community college.  This involved managing 35+ employees, while having to collaborate with faculty and student’s services to provide full programs for our online college students and providing college credit courses for high schools in 13 surrounding school districts.  I think of that time now and am grateful that I didn’t give up my search for more resilience.


What direction do you want to take your company in?

Because I let myself burn out and pushed myself too far, I now teach mindfulness but have a Ph.D. in Education.  I could have stayed in education, if it were what I really loved, and just implemented a self-care practice of mindfulness into my life.  I hope to continue working more with audiences in high-stress environments like education, law enforcement, non-profits, etc., where I can help the people who have the experience and education to be in these high-risk jobs find their balance and continue doing important work.  These people are so important to the success of our communities and I’d like to support them in their own success.


If you had to sum up your program in only a few words what would they be?

Inserting clarity, focus, and resiliency into our daily life.


We hope this interview allowed you to learn about the mind behind the program, Mindfulness in Organizations. KDSL Global will focus on mindfulness in May collecting best practices and what has been started in the MENA region. Join us for a free webinar with Christine on 16 May 2017 from 5-6pm Dubai time.


Matthew Diprose
KDSL Global Intern
Website: www.kdslglobal.com
Twitter: @KDSL07
Facebook: KDSL Global