Approaching Teaching: Week of January 15, 2017

 How will you grow, learn, and inquire this week?

Inquirers – Knowledgeable – Thinkers – Communicators – Principled – Open-Minded – Caring – Risk Takers – Balanced – Reflective

How do we, as educators, take responsibility for our professional growth in order to be the best we can be for AIS students?


We approach uncertainty with forethought and determination; we work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and innovative strategies. We are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges and and change. (IBO. IB Learner Profile. Courageous/Risk-Takers. 2013.)



How are you taking charge of your learning?

Set an objective for your learning this week!

Outside of Kuwait

February 2017

  • Developing Confident Talking in Early Years. Many children are confident talkers at home, but may need extra support to join in with groups in school. These children may be ‘reluctant talkers’ due to shyness, high sensitivity, introversion or in some extreme cases, selective mutism. Children learning a second language or with additional learning needs also need support to fully participate in groups, to develop friendships, and to promote optimum learning. This course explores reasons for children becoming ‘reluctant talkers’ in early years settings, and looks at practical strategies, approaches and activities that will benefit all young children’s language development and learning. February 24 – 25, 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand. Find more details here#communicators

March 2017

  • Professional Learning Weekend. Cairo American College (CAC) teachers would like to share their insights and teaching models with other international school teachers in the region in order to better support teacher understanding and student learning. We are hosting a professional learning weekend from March 25 – 27, 2017. Register here. Teachers have an opportunity to participate in a Lab Site process to learn about one of these three teaching models used at CAC:
  • Teacher Skills Forum 2017. The 2017 Teacher Skills Forum intends to examine the process of deconstructing learning targets and re-constructing clear and understandable learning goals to enrich the quality of teaching/learning experiences in the classroom. Registration for the Teacher Skills Forum 2017 is now open. Register now. March 25 & 26, 2017 at the Dead Sea, Jordan King Hussein bin Talal Convention Centre. #knowledgeable
  • Designing Proficiency Based and Differentiated World Language Classrooms. The reality of many world-language classrooms in international schools is that there is a range of students with differing ‘levels’ of language knowledge and skills if not at the beginning of the school year certainly by the end. This workshop sets the stage for designing learning experiences to develop varying levels amongst all students through the principles of proficiency-based and differentiated language instruction. March 6 – 8, 2017 in Chang Mia, Thailand. Find more details here#communicators

 April 2017

  • Key Principles for Responsive ELL Instruction. As the demography of international schools continues to change with the result that every classroom has more English learners than ever before, it is necessary to turn the often-heard mantra, ‘every teacher is a language teacher’ into classroom practice. These immersion classrooms differ from past practices and as such require EAL- responsive and collaborative ‘growth mindsets’ not just among EAL teachers but among all teachers. April 27 – 29, 2017. Bangkok, Thailand. Learn more.
  • NESA Spring Educators Conference 2017. The Spring Educator’s Conference will take place in Bangkok, Thailand, March 31 – April 2, 2017. #inquirers

May 2017

  • The Innovator’s Mindset. Great teachers have been “innovators” long before any of the current technologies existed in our world.  It was always about doing something better with what was available, to help kids. In this workshop, George Couros will discuss the idea and characteristics of the “Innovator’s Mindset”, and how they can make a significant impact on the learning of ourselves and ultimately our students. May 19 – 20, 2017. Bangkok, Thailand. Learn more. #knowledgeable #inquirers
  • Leading Innovative Change. Although schools are moving forward, change is always something that many struggle with. Focusing on an innovator’s mindset and our “why”, this workshop, led by George Couros, is meant for leaders to help others within their organization not only accept change, but embrace it, to create better powerful learning opportunities for our learners. May 17 – 18, 2017. Bangkok, Thailand. Learn more#knowledgeable #inquirers


January 2017

  • Teaching Secondary Students to Write Effectively. Presenters will discuss three recommendations and give teachers in all disciplines actionable guidance on how to implement them in the classroom. They will also discuss potential challenges educators may face when implementing the recommended practices, as well as advice from the experts on how to overcome those challenges. Wednesday, January 18, 2017, 3 p.m. (ET). Use this link to register for this free event. #communicators
  • Use Data to Close Achievement Gaps. Register for this webinar to learn from top-rated presenter and NWEA partner Polly Siecinski from Southfield Public Schools in Michigan who will share how her district leveraged MAP data to close the achievement gap in less than one school year—and how you can, too. Wednesday, January 25, 2017, 10:00 PM AST. Register now so you’ll receive a recorded version after the webinar that you can use as a valuable reference later and share with colleagues. #knowledgeable


  • Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum available here. The Annenberg Learner site offers a deep collection of resources to support professional learning and PK – 12 student learning, for free or for paid graduate credits through Colorado State University. #knowledgeable
    • Tell Community Stories Through podcasts. In Reading & Writing in the Disciplines, “Writing for New Media,” students can create podcasts about issues and stories from their school community while learning effective journalistic practice. They develop interview, research, writing, and technological skills. (high/language arts/social studies)
    • Beautify an Empty School Space. One activity in The Art of Teaching the Arts, “Making the Most of Community Resources,” shows a visual art teacher and her students working with community members to create a sculpture garden in an empty courtyard at their school.
    • Developing Writers: A Workshop for High School Teachers. This is a video workshop for grade 9-12 writing and language arts teachers, consisting of eight video programs, a print guide, and this Web site. Use these components for professional development in two-hour weekly group sessions, or on your own. (Video on Demand, Free)
    • Reading and Writing in the Disciplines. Reading and writing are no longer the sole responsibility of the English classroom, but a critical part of how students explore and understand complex concepts across all disciplines. By examining general disciplinary literacy strategies and practices—and then focusing more deeply on their own discipline—middle and high school teachers will gain insight into how to support their students’ literacy skills while meeting content goals. (Video on Demand, Free)
    • The Economics Classroom: A Workshop for Grade 9 – 12 Teachers. The Economics Classroom: A Workshop for Grade 9-12 Teachers provides eight video workshops and associated print and web site information intended to assist high school teachers in developing strategies to effectively teach the fundamentals of economics and personal finance. This site also provides a number of classroom-tested lesson plans and links to a variety of useful additional resources. (Video on Demand, Free OR 2 graduate credits, $206USD)
  • USC Rossier online graduate programs. Earn any of the following: 
    • Master of Arts in Teaching: Prepares K–12 teachers to succeed in the classroom and create positive learning environments to meet the challenges of today’s high-need schools. This program also prepares candidates to be recommended for a teaching credential, and they can choose to enhance their degree with a Special Education Credential or Gifted Education Certificate.
    • Master of Arts in Teaching — TESOL: Prepares teachers to specialize in teaching English to non-native speakers and work in a wide range of settings.
    • Doctor of Education (EdD) in Organizational Change and Leadership: Prepares current teachers and educational leaders to drive systemic change in their organizations. A master’s degree is not required.
    • Request further information!

Reading: Articles and blog posts of interest

  • Academic Honesty. Grab some insights into curbing academic dishonesty from this blog post#principled
  • Become “Incredibly Smarter.” Learning should not end after formal education. Lifelong learning, the ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge can enrich your understanding of different topics and make you a better person every day. Your career, personal life, and total well-being will never be the same if you can commit to some of these awesome resources. These 62 Websites Will Make You Incredibly Smarter. Check them out here. #knowledgeable
  • Common Core Math. When Common Core problems go viral, the steps seem complicated, unnecessary. But it actually teaches a real skill. You’re wrong about Common Core Math: Sorry, parents, but it makes more sense than you think. Read more here#knowledgeable
  • Design Thinking. Read How Design Thinking Became a Buzzword at SchoolThe trendy concept is in high demand among educators, but its specifics are vague. #open-minded
  • Differentiate for ELLs. Watch how one teacher differentiates ELA instruction to meet the varied needs of her students. #communicators
  • Leading From the Classroom. “Leading from the Classroom,” is a podcast series featuring firsthand accounts from the 2016 State Teachers of the Year. Each episode features a different teacher sharing a personal and poignant moment that crystallized the importance of teaching and of being a teacher. The teachers speak as advocates and ambassadors for sound education policy, for the teaching profession, and for the needs of their students. Check out episodes here#reflective
  • Stress in Contagious. When teachers are stressed, so are their students. Read more here.
  • The Writing Assignment That Changes Lives. Reach this article to learn about the research of one teacher who has been fascinated by the effects of writing on organizing thoughts and emotions. #communicators

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