Professional Growth at AIS Kuwait
Greetings AIS 2015 – 2016 Staff,
One thing is for certain, your opportunity to develop and hone your practice as an educator will be addressed at AIS Kuwait! In this post you will find details of many ways AIS Kuwait plans for, and supports, your professional growth. You will find information here that will inform you about new teacher orientation and beyond!
This is AIS: New Teacher Orientation
- Every year AIS welcomes new members to its teaching community. The first week of AIS Orientation is dedicated to only teachers new to AIS. Each year the orientation/induction plan evolves as a direct result of reflection and self-assessment in order to improve the experience.
- We are excited to welcome new teachers and begin their orientation to living and working in Kuwait. At this point, new teachers have received many emails and documents that are intended to support a developing understanding of many aspects of teaching at AIS Kuwait (e.g., expectations, curriculum, first units, course outlines, syllabi). Reading and reviewing these documents will help new teachers feel more confident and prepared as they begin this new professional adventure.
- New AIS staff can also access information on the Settling in at AISK blog. Activity on this blog will continue throughout the summer months. Do not hesitate to get your questions answered!
- The details of Week One Orientation are available for your perusal. The initial focus of Week One will be housing and settling in and will gradually move into school-focused professional development towards the end of the week. We have found that the more settled new teachers feel in their home environments, the more able they are to focus when professional learning begins.
This is AIS: All Staff Orientation
- Orientation to the new school year continues as returning staff join new staff. Collaboration is a top priority at AIS Kuwait. New and returning staff will work closely within teaching teams, divisions, programmes, and departments to prepare for the first days, and weeks, of the school year.
- The details of Week Two Orientation are available for your perusal.
Ongoing Professional Development for all at AIS Kuwait
- From Divisional Meetings to Department Meeting to Team Meetings to Early Release Afternoons and beyond, AIS provides a variety of professional growth opportunities. In the past, these opportunities have included the following:
- Professional Learning Communities
- Edcamp opportunities
- Large and small group workshops
- Focus on unpacking specific pedagogical concepts (e.g., rigor, inquiry, formative assessment)
AIS Professional Development Objectives
- AIS professional development objectives flow from three documents. They include:
- AIS School Improvement Plan (SIP). The SIP is a result of a year-long self-study that was conducted in 2012 – 2013 and led to a re-accreditation team visit and evaluation by the Middle States Association (MSA) in October 2013. The AIS mid-point review with MSA is in 2017 with the next re-accreditation evaluation in 2020.
- IB programme evaluations. Each programme is evaluated and re-authorized through self-study and on-site team visits every 5 years. In Spring 2017, all three IB programmes offered at AIS (PYP, MYP, DP) will be simultaneously evaluated for re-authorization. Expect to be learning more and participating in this process over the next two years.
- Professional Development Action Plan. The yearly action plan is informed by the SIP, IB programme needs, and any other identified initiatives that are seen as priority.
Optional Professional Development Opportunities
- Professional Educators Around Kuwait (PEAK) is our local conference organized and attended by educators from the numerous international and English-language schools in Kuwait. Teachers are invited to present 45 – 60 minute education-themed workshops. This year it will be hosted on the AIS campus on Saturday, December 5, 2015!
- Near East South Asia Council of International Schools (NESA) is our regional professional development organization. NESA hosts four different professional educator conferences each school year attracting top names in education. The NESA model takes an in-depth workshop approach to professional learning. The 2015 – 2016 NESA conferences are scheduled as follows:
Graduate Courses in Kuwait
- The Certificate of Educational Technology and Information Literacy (COETAIL) was created by international educators (Jeff Utecht & Kim Cofino) for international educators. This is typically a series of five online courses; however AIS is excited to offer the opportunity for educators to enroll in a hybrid experience of online learning combined with face-to-face time on the AIS campus with one of the COETAIL instructors. We are planning for a Kuwait COETAIL cohort at AIS beginning Fall 2015.
- Buffalo State – SUNY graduate courses in Kuwait are offered through FAWSEC. These face-to-face courses can be combined with online courses (like COETAIL) and lead to a Master’s degree through Buffalo State – SUNY.
#AISQ8 and #AISQ8chat
- Take a virtual look at what teachers are doing at AIS Kuwait!
Approaching Teaching @ AISK
- This is a weekly blog post that provides AIS teachers with ideas and resources to support professional growth. Every week online opportunities, on- and off-campus opportunities, and relevant readings are shared.