New KDSL Global Advisory Council

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Ayodele Harrison, USA                         Tamera Musiowsky-Borneman, Singapore

 

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Lucas Roberts, China                             Jes’ka Washington, United Arab Emirates

 

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Jacob Sule, Nigeria                                         Gilda Scarfe, United Kingdom

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome back MENA educators!

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27 August 2019

 

Dear MENA educators,

We are excited to welcome each of you back to your respective school. In addition to supporting schools based on request, here is a sample of what you can expect from us during 2020-2020:

Powered by Teach to Lead Summit
An initiative of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Connected Community in the GCC, the Powered by Teach to Lead Summit seeks to allow participating teachers, principals, department heads, and supporting organizations to help spotlight and advance the groundbreaking, teacher-led work that is happening in schools across the region. 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. Visit www.gccascd.com/teachtolead

Empatico
KDSL Global is a Connector for Empatico. They believe that when students have the opportunity to meaningfully interact with one another, it can promote a lifetime of curiosity and kindness. They offer a free tool to connect classrooms around the world through live video technology and standards-aligned, research-based activities. Visit https://empatico.org/?utm_source=simpson

Micro-credentials Paper
Micro-credentials provide educators with competency-based recognition for the skills they learn throughout their careers.In this paper, we will explore what are micro-credentials, how are micro-credentials being implemented in the USA and what is the potential for the MENA region, and what resources exist to best support educators interested in micro-credentials?

 

McREL Curiosity Works Institute – Kuwait  14-15 November 2019
McREL’s Curiosity Works resources provide the tools and methods to support curiosity among teachers, leaders, and learners at every level of learning. At this institute you will learn about what makes a Curiosity Works approach to school improvement and innovation different from other approaches, and why it’s worth considering for your school(s). For more information visit https://kdslglobal.wordpress.com/2019/08/08/curiosity-works-for-school-improvement-and-innovation-two-day-institute-in-kuwait/

 

MENALearns Portal:
MENALearns will be an online learning platform for American curriculum educators. MLP will offer tools and resources connected to curriculum, instruction, assessment, professional learning, and more. This will be free during September-October 2019. Visit http://menalearns.xblended.com

To a great year!

 

The KDSL Global Team

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

 

Meet our KDSL Global Intern: Abdul Shakir

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Abdul Shakir is a sophomore working on his Bachelors in Computer Engineering at the American University of Sharjah. He has been living in the UAE for over 15 years. During the junior and senior years of high school, he was engaged in volunteer services.  Abdul was part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme (DEAS) where he completed over 50 hours of volunteering service in his school. He loves to travel and has some interest in the aviation industry. In his spare time, he enjoys plane spotting. Abdul has written an article about his travel experiences and it was featured on the Eton website. He is focused on STEM innovations and follows the latest projects from various technology companies. In the future, Abdul will focus on doing effective research in Computer Science and believes that the KDSL Global internship would help him in achieving this goal.

Welcome Abdul to the KDSL Global team!

 

 

 

KDSL Global Teacher Fellowship

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KDSL Global Teacher Fellowship

KDSL Global, based in the United Arab Emirates and in the United States, is looking to provide fellowships for educators each year. We are a leading learning organization focused on empowering educators and education businesses globally. The fellowship responsibilities will include:

  1. Writing. KDSL Global is devoted to sharing and collaborating with K-12 education stakeholders worldwide. A KDSL Global fellow would have the opportunity to contribute to these various sources and introduce new education topics based on their interest.
  2. Leadership. There are many opportunities to learn and expand leadership skills within the organization. KDSL Global organizes conferences and forums focused on the American curriculum in the MENA region. A fellow would collaborate with the team to develop innovative programs and materials and contribute to professional learning opportunities in MENA, USA, and beyond.
  3. Launch. We will work with fellows to launch a new education idea. This could be a product or service specific to their context or created for the global education community.

KDSL Global seeks one resourceful, intelligent, detail-oriented, hard-working individual who are capable of excelling in an intellectually stimulating work environment. Our focus is on educators based in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, and Australasia. Research experience is desired, strong writing skills a must, and Internet experience greatly welcome. The time commitment is 5-8 hours virtually a month for this one year volunteer fellowship. Please browse the KDSL Global website at www.kdslglobal.comand www.kdslglobalwordpress.com for more information about the organization.

Individuals interested in a KDSL Global Teacher Fellowship should send a CV and a writing sample about an idea they have that will disrupt the education field to Kevin Simpson at kevin@kdslglobal.com by 15 November. Select candidates will be interviewed. This fellowship begins in January 2020.

KDSL Global interviews the founder of Lit Publishing Ltd

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Our KDSL Global Intern recently had the opportunity to interview Sania Green-Reynolds, Founder of Lit Publishing Ltd. As part of her fellowship with KDSL Global, Green-Reynolds is expected to launch a new education product or service specific to her context or for the global education community.

 

Tell us about Lit Publishing Ltd. 

Lit Publishing Ltd. is the product of some of my life-changing and inspired upcoming projects. Most such projects are in the publishing arena and I am passionate about empowering people to write and publish their stories, expertise and desires.

The company is formed on the belief that words are our most powerful tools. That’s why our mission is to;

  1. Support authors and aspiring authors by providing the technical expertise needed to achieve personal and professional writing and publishing goals and successfully launch informational products.
  2. Provide educational, inspirational, motivational, spiritual, soul-stirring and engaging content for diverse readers and fan-base around the globe.

It is the first and only stop for;

  1. People who want to become an author but don’t know where and how to start.
  2. People who are seeking an accountability network, author expertise and coaching as well as technical writing assistance.
  3. People who are looking for alternative publishing means.
  4. People who want to lead and inspire change in their professions, networks or communities and wish to position themselves as authority figures.

Lit Publishing’s Services include:

*Book Consultation, Editing & Publishing

*Author Coaching, Marketing Support & Accountability

*Collaboratives, Anthologies & Book Projects

*Periodicals & Magazines

*Professional Profiles & Media Kits

*Occasion Greeting Cards

 

What inspired you to work in education?

I had some very good teachers who touched my life be it positively or not as positively and an awesome one who dedicated her time to reaching me when I was in my darkest teen moments. Despite taking an oath that I would never become a teacher during one dark moment when I challenged a teacher and she challenged me back, I ended up starting my teaching career at the tender age of sixteen and a half. This was a short term, pre-trained teaching job, but this job along with the indelible mark left on me by one of the most remarkable teachers I know, made me realize that my role in this life is to positively impact people’s lives through education.

 

How can writing be beneficial and transformative?

If you knew the fourteen-year-old me versus the current me, then you would be better able to see with your own eyes how therapeutic and transformative writing and reading can be. Writing was and pretty much still is my safe place, my happy place, my place of freedom. If I search my journals and dream books, I could show you that me being here in the UAE at this moment is a written desire manifested. When I feel overwhelmed, misunderstood or even lacking words to pray, writing is my tool of expression. Extensive studies and research show that writing one’s feelings gradually eases feelings of emotional trauma. Many people may find this difficult to understand, but growing up without my biological mother, and being told repeatedly by her after I finally met her that I should not have been born is forever emotionally traumatic. Writing was my first therapy albeit in response to great literature texts I read in junior and high school. I also know for sure that when one writes something that helps or entertains someone, or inspires change, that writer’s confidence and self-worth increases significantly. That’s extremely beneficial if you ask me!

To learn more about Lit Publishing Ltd. visit https://twitter.com/LitPublishing.

 

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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.

 

 

KDSL Global interviews Ashley Green

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Our KDSL Global Intern recently had the opportunity to interview Ashley Green, the first ASCD Emerging Leader based in the Middle East.  Currently, Green is in the United Arab Emirates and passionate about teaching, learning, and ensuring autonomy and student interest are central in working with studets. She also serves as a Senior Associate with KDSL Global.

 

Tell us about the ASCD Emerging Leaders program. 

Educators selected for the Emerging Leaders program have been in the education profession for 5–15 years; demonstrate a passion for learning, teaching, and leading; come from a diverse range of positions, locations, cultural backgrounds, and perspectives; hold promise as leaders; and are committed to ASCD’s beliefs and to pursuing leadership opportunities. Following the nomination process, this year’s leaders were chosen by an advisory panel composed of ASCD staff, education thought leaders, and emerging leader alumni.

For 75 years, ASCD has been at the forefront of education issues that affect learning, teaching, and leading. Since the launch of Educational Leadership magazine in 1943, ASCD has developed trustworthy, research-based, and up-to-date information that shapes the international conversation on best practices to support the success of each learner.

Throughout history, ASCD’s members, authors, and expert cadres have read like a “Who’s Who” in education. ASCD has been the birthplace of transformative ideas such as the Understanding by Design® framework, the ASCD Whole Child approach, and capacity-building professional learning.

 

 

As an Emerging Leader (EL) in the MENA region, how will you contribute to the growth of ASCD?

As an EL in the MENA region, I hope to contribute by raising awareness and highlighting the goals and initiatives of ASCD. In October, I will assist with the Teach to Lead summit in Dubai. Teach to Lead is a partnership of the U.S. Department of Education, ASCD and Teach Plus. I am looking forward to working alongside teacher leaders and amplifying their voice and work in this field. It is essential to bridge relationships with community stakeholders and the Teach to Lead summit will provide educational leaders with the platform needed to foster relationships beyond their organizations.

 

If you could change anything about today’s education system, what would you change and why?

If I could change anything about the educational system, it would be the way differentiation is viewed. This is a term that several educators hold near to their hearts. Educators believe that if they are differentiating, they are working towards meeting the needs of children. For some differentiation can seem like a three ring circus. Others may struggle with seeing the value of changing instruction when assessments are the same, motivation is low, and behavior is out of control. To be very clear, I do not think differentiation should not be included in the current educational process, but I believe as educators, we have to visit a different concept first.

A concept that has the student’s at the core. A concept that educator’s want, but may possibly struggle with giving; autonomy. Autonomy simply put is the right or condition of self-government. A classroom that is autonomous will benefit from differentiation. Autonomy starts with the students (I want to learn more about…. or I need help with….). Differentiation begins with the teachers (Based on the data, the student needs this….). In an autonomous classroom students have stake in their learning goals. In a differentiated classroom, most teachers are using data to drive the teaching and learning. Teachers then select the activities or assessments that they think will help the students based on the data. Autonomous classrooms make the process of differentiation easier, while supporting the students and maximizing motivation and effort. Educators may be wondering, what does an autonomous classroom look like or how can I achieve that when the classes are all the same and I have to meet certain guidelines. Getting started can be achieved in three easy steps.

Getting to know the students

If you’ve ever had parent teacher conferences in the fall, then you know how difficult it was to speak about a student that you barely know. We make general blanket statements while smiling and nodding most of the time. In a classroom that honors autonomy, the teachers will sit down with every single student in the beginning and learn their story. Children are naturally inquisitive, so this will also give them an opportunity to ask questions. Both the student and teacher should walk away feeling like they’ve gotten to know one another.

Analyze their data story

Whether a student is in 1st grade or 12th, there’s a data story. Talk about the data. Analyze it. Ask questions and explain what the data means. If there was a year where scores dropped or spiked, ask the students what was taking place. Get to know the person behind the numbers.

Set goals

After getting to know the students as individuals and analyzing the data with them, set goals. To honor autonomy, the goals should be student driven. If there is a certain benchmark that has to be met, make that clear to the student and then create attainable goals. Explain what the process will look like and ensure the student that you will help them along the way.

The three easy steps above will show the students that you care. With autonomy at the forefront, teachers can then use differentiation to help execute their plans and assist the students in achieving their goals. For example, if a student realizes that he/she has not been meeting the reading benchmark based on the data, when a teacher gives an assignment, she/he can make it very clear that this assignment will help you reach your goal. The teacher can also state, by mastering this skill, you will be one step closer to the goal you set. Autonomy starts with the student. Differentiation begins with the teacher. In order to maximize instruction, we have to transform our thinking. Autonomy is driving the classroom, differentiation is simply the navigation system.

 

To learn more about the ASCD Emerging Leaders Program visit http://www.ascd.org/programs/Emerging-Leaders/Emerging-Leaders.aspx

 

To learn more about Ashley Green selected as the first ASCD Emerging Leader based in the Middle East visit https://kdslglobal.wordpress.com/2018/07/07/ascd-selects-the-first-emerging-leader-based-in-the-middle-east/

 

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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 Global Teacher Leader in the United Arab Emirates. She is also the Director of Operations for Hayward’s Hands, a nonprofit organization that specializes in community service and enrichment programs.

 

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.

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/

 

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.