MENA Teacher Summit

October 7-8, 2016
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

An initiative of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Connected Community in the GCC, the Teacher Summit seeks to improve teaching and learning and connect education professionals throughout the MENA region to the resources provided by ASCD. Founded in 1943, ASCD is the global leader in developing and delivering innovative programs, products, and services that empower educators to support the success of each learner. The association provides expert and innovative solutions in the professional development, capacity building, and educational leadership essential to the way educators learn, teach and lead.

This regional event is a platform for American Curriculum teachers to engage and learn with renowned educators and scholars. Topics at the summit will address best practices in leadership, data, curriculum, and English Language Arts and Math Common Core and Next Generation 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.

MENA Teacher Summit Agenda

7 October 2016
Bryan Goodwin
CEO and President of McREL International
Going Far By Going Together: Following What Matters Most Improvement Pathways
Time Event
8:00-8:45am Registration, Networking, Breakfast
8:45-9:00am Welcome
9:00-10:30am Part 1
10:30-10:45am Coffee Break
10:45-12noon Part 2
8 October 2016
Time Event
8:00-9:00am Registration, Exhibitors, Networking, Breakfast
9:00-9:15am Welcome
9:15-10:00am Keynote
10:00-10:15am Coffee Break, Exhibitors
10:15-11:30am Session 1
11:30-12:30pm Lunch, Exhibitors
12:40-1:50pm Session 2
2:00-3:10pm Session 3
3:10-3:25pm Coffee Break, Exhibitors
3:30-4:40pm Session 4

Keynote and Pre-Conference

Bryan Goodwin

Bryan thrives on translating research into practice, scanning the world for new insights and best practices on teaching and leading, and helping educators everywhere adapt them to address their own challenges. A frequent conference presenter, he is the author of Simply Better: Doing What Matters Most to Change the Odds for Student Success, and co-author of The 12 Touchstones of Good Teaching and Balanced Leadership for Powerful Learning: Tools for Achieving Success in Your School. Before joining McREL in 1998, Bryan was a college instructor, a high school teacher, and an award-winning business journalist.

Pre-Conference on Friday 7 October

Going Far By Going Together: Following What Matters Most Improvement Pathways

ASCD author and McREL's President & CEO Bryan Goodwin will share insights from our research and work with school systems worldwide, helping them achieve significant gains in student achievement by keeping their efforts simple and focused on what matters most. At first blush, these systems look very different - representing urban, suburban, remote Arctic and Pacific island communities, yet they've shared two things important in common: first, a system-wide focus on five simple, but powerful levers for system success and second, following similar pathways for improvement - starting with establishing productive routines and habits, developing expertise, and ultimately, unleashing innovation. You'll gain a both big picture perspective - and learn some practical strategies - for everyday actions that contribute to student success.

Keynote Saturday 8 October

A Road Less Traveled: Building on Bright Spots and Unleashing Student and Teacher Potential

8 October 2016

Bryan Goodwin

ASCD Author and CEO and President of McREL


The 12 Touchstones of Good Teaching: A Checklist for Staying Focused Every Day

Addressing student needs, responding to unexpected crises, and dealing with daily minutiae can make classrooms as complicated as emergency rooms or airplane cockpits. In healthcare and aviation, doctors and pilots use a simple device to stay focused and ensure good results: a checklist. In this session, Bryan Goodwin, President & CEO at McREL International, and author of the ASCD publication, The 12 Touchstones of Good Teaching: A Checklist for Staying Focused Every Day will offer a checklist for teaching-not a mindless to-do list, but a reminder of daily keys for helping student succeed. He will highlight three key "imperatives" for teachers: to be challenging, supportive, and intentional. Along the way he will challenge some common teaching practices and reveal other "open secrets"-what we know (and ignore) from research-about good teaching practice.

Patti Drapeau

ASCD author, faculty at the University of Southern Maine, and consultant for the Maine Department of Education in gifted education.


Cultivating Creativity in our Schools

In what ways might we respond to a global call to action to develop lessons that not only promote critical thinking but also promote creativity and innovation in a standards based, high stakes, testing climate? In this session, Patti Drapeau uses an organizational framework that demonstrates how to connect standards and creativity to create engaging and empowering lessons. Discover a variety of ways to teach creatively whether you are creative or not. Creative tasks target deep understanding of complex content through possibility thinking, creative thinking, and problem solving. The presenter will share examples of student responses and provide participants with a variety of practical tools to use in the classroom across content and across grade levels.

Differentiated Instruction: Making it Work for Gifted Students

It is important now, more than ever, to know, understand and be able to communicate what types of differentiation we are providing for gifted students and why we are providing it. The ten keys to differentiation for gifted and talented learners are a list of research-based principles that address the following questions: Which differentiated teaching practices are more effective with gifted learners as compared to regular learners? How do we know if our lessons and units of study are differentiated enough? This session is a practical, hands-on session where participants engage in strategies that are differentiated for gifted students. Participants will receive a variety of examples of lessons using strategies that are not just challenging but also interesting, engaging and motivating for gifted learners.

Rob Wessman

Harvard University's Data Wise


Improve your school by changing the way your teams use data

Education leaders at all levels are swimming in data. Imagine a world where teacher teams are organized to work with data in a way that drives decisions that make a difference for learners. In this interactive session, you will learn how Harvard's Data Wise Improvement Process can help you change how you and your teachers see and use data. You will have time to reflect and assess how you currently use data for improvement, and learn data use practices you can immediately take back to your school. Attending this session in school teams is encouraged.

Three strategies for energizing your faculty to use data

Effective leaders use student data to make critical instructional decisions, motivate their faculty, and drive school improvement. In this interactive session, you will learn how to leverage three key strategies found in Harvard's Data Wise Improvement Process for engaging your faculty to use student data meaningfully: 1) Reinventing meetings, 2) Activating the Ladder, and 3) Sharpening the focus. You will walk away with concrete practices you can immediately put into action at your school. Attending this session in school teams is encouraged.

Dr. Craig Gabler

KDSL Global Science Consultant


What's the Big Deal about "Phenomena" in the NGSS?

Do phenomena have to be phenomenal? We'll answer this question as we take a hands-on look at what the NGSS suggests all students should experience in order to develop knowledge, scientific thinking, argumentation, and reasoning in the context of natural phenomena.

Knowing What Students Know - Assessing the NGSS

Using a backwards design process you will experience firsthand the development of an assessment (formative/summative) item for a NGSS Performance Expectation. From here we will look at work being done to develop assessments and you will gain access to a wide range of resources to assist you in creating meaningful assessments for your students.

Patricia Reeder

Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA)


MAP Metrics for Progress and Attainment- Using MAP Reports and Resources to Monitor and Prepare for Inspection and Accreditation

This session will look at the relationship between progress metrics and attainment outcomes. School level and classroom level reports and resources will be explored, that can positively impact student progress and attainment and ultimately impact inspection and accreditation results. The new KHDA inspection standards utilizing MAP data will be discussed.

Best Practices in using MAP to Impact Student Progress and Attainment

This session will explore the classroom and school level practices that have been shown to result in greater than average student progress over time. Using their own data, participants will have the opportunity to explore learning centers designed to support the use of MAP data for instructional planning and student goal setting.

Alison Davis

CEO of Teacher + Leader Learning Company


Teach with Your Head + Teach with Your Heart

This interactive workshop will provide opportunity to share strategies for building learning communities while balancing the use of assessment data. You will learn:

  • 10 practical engagement strategies for building learning communities
  • Strategies for assessment - of learning, for learning and as learning
  • Feedback strategies
  • Balancing the head and heart to make the right instructional decisions

Tisha and John Nguyen

JTN Education Consultants


Mastering The Art Of Crucial Conversations

Working together as a team is critical to drive and deliver ambitious student achievements results. Teamwork can be complex, and require the art and skill of mastering key communication practices. Planning, implementation and execution of crucial or difficult conversations is a necessary skill for leaders to be effective and productive. It is a pillar, that when leveraged appropriately can change the paradigm of the organization, as well as the trajectory of employees.

Rashenah Walker

Curriculum Coordinator at School of Modern Skills


Teach The Test: Designing Curriculum To Meet International Testing Standards

This workshop is targeted towards curriculum coordinators and school administrators. The workshop will show how to design a rigorous school curriculum that incorporates CCSS and the skills assessed on standardized international exams (IBT, MAP, PIRLS, TIMSS, SAT, & TESOL) required by KHDA for American Curriculum Schools. Upon completion of the workshop attendees will be able to design/modify their school curriculum to increase rigor and skill set to better prepare students to demonstrate understanding on international exams. Attendees will also see data and statistics showing how the new curriculum was implemented and actual students' results.

Rachel Lloyd and Kelly Seymour

Limitless Education


Awakening Creativity and Imagination in The Classroom

This unique workshop will help practitioners and leaders to awaken their creativity, imaginative skills and 'out of the box' thinking. It will empower practitioners and leaders to develop their own unique philosophies and tackle fear around taking risks in teaching and leadership.

Loretta Sanders


Developing Lessons to Include Speaking and Listening Skills into Every Content Area.

Research has shown that language deficits are central to the difficulties experienced by poor comprehenders; in this presentation, we will discuss how to include Speaking (Expressive) and Listening (Receptive) language into every content area of the curriculum. We will also discuss methods of measuring student outcomes in Speaking and Listening. Participates will leave this session able to evaluate standards and write benchmarks (objectives) that include measureable outcomes.

Alison Schofield and Francesca McGeary


Raising Teacher Expertise with Bilingual and Multilingual Learners

What happens when you mix a linguist with a behavioural specialist? You get a totally different perspective on how to understand and work with bilingual and multilingual students in mainstreams classrooms. Francesca McGeary and Alison Schofield are Educational Consultants and authors of the book and professional development program, "Bilingual and Multilingual Learners from the Inside-Out." They have pioneered a new approach for understanding and working with bilingual and multilingual learners (aka ELL/EAL students) in mainstream classrooms.

Using high-impact strategies with students along with knowledge of the most up-to-date research in the field of multilingualism, they are able to create significant impact on student learning. In this practical workshop, Francesca and Alison will share their framework, along with their top strategies for fast-forwarding student learning. Using student work samples and teaching videos to demonstrate these strategies, classroom teachers, EAL specialists and even school Heads can expect to leave the workshop with a new level of understanding and expertise that can be applied immediately.

Sue Beers


Planning, Monitoring and Assessing Progress in Implementing the Core

One of the most difficult aspects of implementing the Common Core is determining if the standards are understood and implemented with fidelity. During this session, participants will sample a comprehensive needs assessment tool for reflecting on four elements of implementation:

  1. Developing common language and understanding of the instructional shifts inherent in the Common Core
  2. Examining and aligning district sanctioned curriculum, instruction, assessment and professional learning
  3. The role of school leaders in implementation
  4. Organizational policies and structures that support effective implementation of the Common Core.

The Needs Assessment tool can be used in the school to provide baseline information on the current status of implementation. Ongoing progress in the systemic implementation of the standards can be then measured periodically against the baseline to provide ongoing data for planning the school's progress toward deep and meaningful implementation of the Common Core.

"Shifting" Instruction to Meet the Common Core Literacy Standards: What's REALLY Important

The Common Core Standards are more than just a checklist of skills and knowledge that students must master. The underlying shifts in instruction that are necessary for preparing students for the 21st Century must guide how learning opportunities are crafted and the kind of literacy encounters students will have. During this session, participants will assess their own classrooms and instruction using the tool "Green Flags / Red Flags for Common Core Literacy." As a result of their assessment, they will craft ideas for how to improve their implementation of the standards and the quality of their instruction. A "Resource Q and A" will take place at the end of the session for participants who desire ideas for specific resources they need.

Christiane Rouhana
Kidproof M.E.


Cyber Dangers: Teaching teens to think critically online.

Despite being seemingly Internet-savvy, today's teens are vulnerable to a frightening range of dangerous situations online, including online romantic relationships and predators. A growing number of teens are being asked by people they know, trust, and sometimes love, to expose themselves inappropriately through sexting, which is not only illegal, but can expose them to humiliation, isolation, and depression. Also, a majority of teens will be victims or witnesses of cyber bullying, without having the tools necessary to protect themselves and without knowing how to stop it.

This valuable workshop is presented by Kidproof Safety, a Canadian child safety education provider and publisher with over 15 years of worldwide experience. Through a combination of role-play and practice scenarios, educators will gain research-based safety instruction strategies, giving them effective, preventative and engaging teaching tools, to help develop their students' critical thinking skills when it comes to the top 3 online dangers that students face in today's world: Online predators, sexting, and cyber-bullying.

Bullyproof your classroom: Effective anti-bullying teacher intervention strategies.

A stable and safe learning environment is an essential requirement to provide appropriate education to your pupils. Research shows that bullying can have short and long-term effects on the physical and mental well-being of pupils, on engagement with school, on self-confidence and on the ability to pursue ambitions and interests. After all, a child who does not feel safe cannot focus on her or his studies.

Kidproof Safety, a Canadian child safety education provider and publisher with over 15 years of worldwide experience, will provide participants with an effective and preventative intervention strategy when teachers witness bullying behaviour in their classroom. Through a combination of role-play and practice scenarios, participants will develop a clear understanding of how to respond when a pupil is being bullied and how to prevent bullying in their classrooms. A non-punitive approach will be favoured and used to provide support to pupils who are bullies, with an emphasis on social, behavioural, and cognitive skill-building; and on character education for pupils who are at risk for bullying behaviour.

Jennifer Hogan
Director of Little World and Computer Explorers UAE


Digital Tech Integration in the Classroom

Embedding digital technology as a daily part of your KG curriculum. Building on their readiness skills as they work with computers, digital cameras, robotics, green screen technology, digital animation software, 3D graphic arts, electronic microscopes and iPads! Manipulating and handling a range of software, hardware and other equipment, and reflecting with experts and peers, teachers will leave with an understanding of how to use technology as a tool to developing learning in science, engineering and math. Educators will leave with a range of strategies that can be implemented in an integrated way throughout both the US and UK early years curriculum. Computer Explorers UAE, a US educational technology program, brings international best practice to the UAE giving children access to unmatched technology education.

Dr. Jason Johnson
Associate Professor
Department of Mathematics & Statistics
Zayed University - Dubai


Using Ti-Nspire To Explore Common Core Standards For Mathematical Practices

In this session, participants will see how free, classroom-ready content and CCSS alignment guides from TI-Math Nspired can support implementation of the Mathematical Practices. Explore how to use Class Capture and Quick Poll features to model with mathematics, look for & express consistency in repeated reasoning, attend to precision, and construct viable arguments to critique the reasoning of others.

Gillian Wilson
SEN World


Creating an inclusive environment

The workshop will focus on teaching within an inclusive setting. Considering the creation of an inclusive classroom environment from a teacher's perspective, through to a whole school management model. Probing student's perceived actual needs within the classroom setting. As part of this session, the workshop will consider the trajectory for SEND students within the education setting, looking at mainstream to specialist environments, through to post 16/18 pathways and application of core subjects.

The session will use a case study to investigate the management of Teaching Assistants/para professionals by teachers. Taking into account the relationship between departments, individual teachers and the SEN department. A conversation on differentiation and what this means in practice. It will look at emerging research models such as the scaffolding approach and current practice. It will allow for debate, and self- reflection, with consideration of knowledge of student's needs and management. A floor session will give professionals the opportunity to share best practice, allowing feedback on strategies of engagement they have used which have been successful. The conclusion of the workshop will evaluate frameworks, we use to audit and inform future best practice.

Janet Larsen Roberts
Kagan Coordinator & ESL Instructor


Using Cooperative Learning Structures For Higher Engagement In Classrooms

New educational initiatives demand teachers produce higher achievement scores and improve communication/social skills for their 21st Century active learners, yet often the question remains unanswered: How do teachers achieve these lofty goals using present textbooks & resource materials? One answer is by inserting Kagan Cooperative Learning Structuresinto previously developed lesson plans. Research will be reviewed and participants will engage in cooperative learning strategies that can be easily implemented in classrooms.


Using Cooperative Learning Structures For Higher Engagement In Faculty Meetings

New educational initiatives demand principals and school leaders who are expected to narrow achievement gaps, create school improvement plans, and lead their staff in collaboration and shared decision-making. How can these goals be achieved by conducting meetings in traditional, lecture-type formats? One answer is by adding Kagan Cooperative Learning Structures to the meeting. School leaders will get a handful of tools to assist them in creating professional learning communities, modeling for teachers how to create more engagement, and leading schools in the 21st Century.

Mona L. Fairley-Nelson
Associate Director of Curriculum & Instruction
American United School of Kuwait


Effective Data Team Process

Data-driven decision making has been a focus of attention in education for many years. Yet, many educators are reluctant or even resistant to calls by their leaders to use data and make decisions based on data. In some cases, this is because people have a narrow view of data as simply the reports of standardized test results that annually arrive on their desks and in their inboxes.

In other cases, it is because the call for using data is perceived as a call for dramatic changes to the way the business of education has always been conducted. This training will help school leaders establish or enhance the collaborative processes necessary to create a culture of inquiry designed to meet the needs of today's students. An essential first step in creating this culture is to understand the current perceptions about using data in your school. During this workshop leaders will learn the steps in an effective data team process, how to conduct data team meetings with teachers, and how to systematically use data to drive instruction in your school.

Pierre Atallah
Pearson Training & Implementation Manager


Making the Leap to NGSS (and getting to grips with instructional shifts)

Two years into NGSS implementation, and what has been achieved? Have we seen a positive impact on learning outcomes, and where's the evidence?

Whilst most agree that the standards represent an important step forward in preparing students for college and careers, their implementation still poses challenges for teachers. A real shift in teacher mind-set and classroom practice is required if we are to see the standards implemented with positive effect.

During this workshop youíll learn techniques and strategies to help you master the necessary instructional shifts, and youíll put them into practice with content from Interactive Science. Join us as we share best practice on ideas and strategies that will help shape science education in your school.

Dr. Troy P. Regis
Academic Deputy Head at the School of Modern Skills


Why Half a Point Does Not Matter Anymore in Math Class (or Any Class for that Matter)

This session will focus on formative and summative assessment, including the use of rubrics aimed at standards-based scoring versus points and grades. While the content will primarily involve middle grades mathematics, the themes can be applied to all content areas where achieving standards is the goal for students.

Tamara Jochinke
Al Khaleej National School


Feedback for Growth

Feedback for growth is an approach which explicitly recognizes the expansion of our own and others' developmental capacities as central to the experience of good feedback. Participants will engage in a series of reflective, text-dependent protocols around how feedback can be used to build capacity in individuals and organizations.

Chassie Selouane
Director of Learning and Assistant Principal
Sharjah American International School


The Stages of Implementation: Identifying & Making it Through the Implementation Dip.

As we began the process of change it is important to develop a deepening to our collective knowledge and understanding of the Science of Implementation. This session brings forward some of the big ideas about change management and provide a context of where you've been and where you're heading with change management. The examples in this presentation are relation to the implementation of 21st Century Learning in my school but can easily be relatable to any school that is in the current process of a transformational change.

Jacqueline Burns
Mathematics Teacher and Consultant


Fashion, Faith, and Fractions

Through active application of content knowledge, session participants will actively engage in the fractions standards through a variety of math tasks based on fashion and culture. While the content standard knowledge is key, the anchor of the session will be how to infuse the standards for mathematical practice (SMPs) into daily math learning. Collaboration and communication will be key in the overall outcomes; we will engage in whole-group, small-group, and independent feedback and reflection. Participants will leave with electronic access to the resources used in today's session.

Heather Roy
American School of Dubai


Transform Teaching and Learning in Your Classroom with Google Apps for Education

  • Learn how Google Apps for Education supports teaching and learning through communication, collaboration and creativity.
  • Learn some key tips and tricks for using Google Apps for education in the classroom.
  • Investigate practical ways that Google Tools have been used in American Curriculum schools in the UAE
  • Learn about certifications, training resources and support available to teachers in the UAE.
  • Session Requirements: Participants will need to have a gmail account and if they are using a mobile device they should have Google Slides, Google Drive and Google Docs installed.

    Featured Speakers

    Dr. Craig Gabler

    Craig T. Gabler is a Science/STEM education consultant and the KDSL Global science consultant for American curriculum schools in the MENA region. Previously he was at Educational Service District (ESD) 113 in Olympia, Washington, beginning in 2000. At the ESD, Dr. Gabler served as Regional Science Coordinator where his primary role was to coordinate and deliver science professional development to the 44 school districts in the region. During his time at the ESD, Dr. Gabler also served as Curriculum Director for Science & Mathematics for Tacoma Public Schools in Washington for two years. Dr. Gabler began his career in Centralia, Washington in 1975 as a high school chemistry and physics teacher. Outside of his work in districts, Dr. Gabler has been active in science education leadership. He served as a writer for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), worked on Washington state science standards writing teams, and spent several summers as Mentor Teacher in the U.S. Department of Energy's Pre- Service Teacher program at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He is currently the Retiring President of the National Science Education Leadership Association. In addition, he served a two-year term as president of the Washington Science Teachers Association and as the National Science Teachers Association's District XVII Director. Leadership and leadership development continues to be an area of focus for Dr. Gabler. He collaborated with the KDSL team and served as the team leader of the 2014 NGSS Forum held in Dubai for American curriculum schools in the MENA region. Dr. Gabler was also a featured author in Teach UAE Magazine where he wrote an article on implementing the NGSS.

    Dr. Gabler received a BS in Physical Science from Washington State University, an MS in Science Education from Oregon State University, and a PhD in Science & Mathematics Education from the Curtin University in Perth, Australia.

    Patti Drapeau

    Patti Drapeau is an educational consultant, internationally known presenter, trainer, and author. †Patti is a presenter in the United States and abroad where she presents keynote sessions as well as short and long-term workshops. Her presentation topics include: creativity, differentiation, personalized learning, integrated curriculum, instructional strategies and meeting the needs of special populations. Patti is on the part time faculty at the University of Southern Maine. She is also a consultant for the Maine Department of Education in gifted education.

    Patti is the author of Sparking Student Creativity Practical Ways to Promote Innovative Thinking and Problem Solving (ASCD, 2014), Great Teaching with Graphic Organizers 2nd edition revised and updated (Hawker Brownlow, 2010), Differentiated Instruction: Making It Work (Scholastic, 2004) Great Teaching with Graphic Organizers (Scholastic, 1998). Patti developed a curriculum model for the regular classroom called "Affective Perspectives: Combining Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking, and Affect." She authored a variety of articles for the Maine Exchange, Teaching Matters, and Understanding our Gifted. Patti has over twenty-five years of classroom experience teaching students and coordinating programs in Freeport, Maine. She coached Odyssey of the Mind, Future Problem Solving, Explorer Vision, and math teams. Patti received the New England Region Gifted and Talented award for outstanding contributions in gifted education and the Maine Educators of the Gifted and Talented award for exemplary service.

    Sue Beers

    Making connections among a myriad of initiatives and supporting learning through humor and example are professional passions for Sue Z. Beers. In workshops delivered across the USA, Sue shares strategies and tools for creating effective learning opportunities. Improving teaching and learning will necessitate that teachers, administrators and district personnel participants deeply examine their own current practices against best practices.

    Sue's 39-year career as a classroom teacher, program coordinator and district administrator has provided her with hands-on experience in the areas of effective teaching and school improvement. As the founder and current Director of the Mid-Iowa School Improvement Consortium, Beers works with over 160 school districts in Iowa and other states in guiding the alignment of curriculum, instruction and assessment in order to improve student learning.

    As a consultant, speaker and ASCD Consultant, Sue has shared her expertise and experience with school districts and educational organizations nationally and internationally to improve teaching and learning in the areas of:

    • Using Professional Learning Communities to Achieve Effective Instructional Change
    • Leading the Implementation of the CCSS: Strategies and Resources
    • CCSS Implementation in Literacy and Math Classrooms
    • Key Shifts of the CCSS in Literacy and Math
    • Reading and Writing Strategies in the Content Areas
    • Literacy Across the Curriculum
    • 21st Century Teaching and Learning
    • Professional Development Planning
    • School Improvement Planning
    • Effective teaching strategies
    • Curriculum Development
    • Assessing Student Learning
    • Using Data to Inform Instruction

    Sue co-authored ASCD's "Leading the Common Core" professional development institute and is also the co-author of Reading Strategies for the Content Areas: An ASCD Action Tool, Volumes 1 and II and Using Writing to Learn Across the Content Areas: An ASCD Action Tool. She has also authored an ASCD Action Tool on Strategies for Designing, Implementing and Evaluating Professional Development, Adolescent Literacy and Teaching 21st Century Skills.

    Rob Wessman

    Rob Wessman is a certified Data Wise coach and co-founder of Koru Strategy Group, an organization that provides on-site support to help districts and schools get better at using academic and social-emotional data to improve learning environments for students and families. He holds a doctorate in Education Leadership from Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he completed a yearlong residency at Panorama Education researching on the effective use of formative school and classroom data in school improvement.

    Before pursuing his doctorate, Rob authored and led a multi-year school improvement grant plan with a district in Salt Lake City, Utah, to implement professional development, assessment, and suspension-reduction strategies. Prior to his administrative work, he taught Language Arts, Journalism, and Broadcast Media to wonderful high school students for seven years. Rob's better half is Dawn, a talented photographer and personal trainer. Together they raise their children in Belmont, Massachusetts.

    Patricia Reeder

    Pat Reeder holds a BS in special education and regular education from Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH. She also has an M.Ed and Ed.S. from the University of Toledo in school psychology as well as educational administration.

    Pat is a former special education teacher, school psychologist, elementary principal and director of curriculum and instruction. She has an extensivebackground in curriculum and instruction, data based decision making and school improvement planning.

    Pat has worked with NWEA since 2009 and is currently qualified to facilitate all MAP Foundation workshops and modules, custom workshops, Children's Progress Academic Assessment, Keeping Learning on Track, as well as design and deliver Coaching Services in data conversations, program alignment and goal focused planning.

    Alison Schofield

    Francesca McGeary

    Alison Schofield and Francesca McGeary are international Educational Consultants based out of Dubai, UAE. They are co-founders of IngeniousEd, an educational company as well as co-authors of the book and global professional development program, Bilingual and Multilingual Learners from the Inside-Out: Elevating Expertise in Classrooms and Beyond.

    Alison has previously been a behavioural specialist, special education consultant and classroom teacher both in Canada and internationally. For the past 12 years, she has lived in Dubai and has supported schools, teachers, parents and students with a variety of educational initiatives as well as having worked extensively with bilingual and multilingual learners in IngeniousEd's Literacy Intervention Program.

    Francesca has been an international educator and ESL specialist for several years. Having grown up as an expat and "third culture kid" in Belgium, she later went onto study Chinese and Education. Francesca is a natural linguist and applies her knowledge and love of languages to help schools, teachers and parents better understand bilingual and multilingual learners.

    Scott Farber

    With a mission to level the playing field for students from all backgrounds, Scott is the President and co-founder of A-List Education. Growing from just a handful of students in 2005, A-List now serves more than 80,000 students across the US and around the world. The company works with more than 700 high schools and nonprofit organizations, including KIPP, the Harlem Children's Zone, the Fulbright Commission, and Year Up (where Scott currently serves on the NY Leadership Council) - providing everything from professional development and direct instruction to sophisticated assessment platforms and curriculum alignment. Scott has more than 12,000 hours of instructional experience, working with thousands of students and teachers to improve post secondary outcomes.

    Scott was lucky enough to attend Harvard University on a scholarship, and then serve as CFO of a development project in Ecuador funded by the British Embassy. These experiences left him with a deep appreciation for education not just as what traditionally happens in the four walls of a classroom but as a set of skills necessary to succeed in the wider world. This philosophy of college and career readiness has been central to A-List's success; as a result Scott has been asked to be a frequent presenter at education conferences, and has been featured on Bloomberg, NBC, CBS, Fox and CNN to comment on developments in the education space. Most recently, Scott has overseen A-List's expansion to Europe, the Middle East and China, as well as the development of extensive learning materials and a suite of groundbreaking educational tools.


    Loretta Sanders

    Loretta Sanders is a Curriculum and Instruction Specialist who has gained her work experience in both North Carolina and the United Arab Emirates. Over her 16-year career, she has held various curriculum-based leadership roles from Grade level chairperson to Vice Principal overseeing Professional Development and School Programs to her current role as a K-12 Curriculum Coordinator. Loretta has lead a team comprised of both teachers and Heads of Department in creating a rigorous and yet balanced elementary curriculum using Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards while ensuring integration of 21st Century skills for a student population of 40 different nationalities across four schools. As a result, district schools showed great improvement on their governmental inspection rating from the previous academic year. In her various curriculum roles, Loretta has invested vast amounts of time researching and building her expertise in all related areas. Her passion is to share her knowledge and enthusiasm about this field with fellow educators and ultimately have an impact on learners in classrooms everywhere.

    Rashenah Walker

    Rashenah Walker begin her career in Atlanta, GA as a special education and Advanced Placement teacher. She has has worked in the field of education for over 10 years in the areas of curriculum design, educational administration, and designing professional development. Rashenah has completed several professional development trainings for College Board, Edmodo, & TESOL within the United States and internationally on implementing innovative teaching strategies in the the classroom. She holds a Master's in Education majoring in Instructional Technology and is a dual major Doctoral Candidate in Educational Leadership and Curriculum Design. Rashenah currently works as a Curriculum Specialist for the School of Modern Skills in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

    Tisha Nguyen

    Before starting her Education Consulting Firm, Tisha Nguyen was Vice President of Expanded Learning for Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center. Prior to that, she was Chief Academic Officer for the Birmingham City Schools where she had primary authority and accountability for the academic performance of all schools. Earlier in my career Tisha held roles such as Manager of Secondary Science Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment for the Houston Independent School District, and Director of Professional Development for IDEA Public Schools. She has also been a science teacher at both the university and middle school level and has also served as a school leader and administrator. Tisha is a graduate of Texas Southern University with a Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Educational Administration. As a lifelong learner, she has also taken additional course work over the years in microbiology and space science and has completed Ph.D. coursework in Public Policy and Administration with a concentration in non-governmental organizations. Tisha is very passionate about STEM education and as a result, extremely proud to also be a Microsoft in Education Ambassador for the Boston and New England area. She also currently serves on the Board for Rebuild Africa Inc.

    John Nguyen

    John Nguyen currently serves as Co-Founder of JTN Education Consultants and also Director of Program Operations for the state of Massachusetts for BELL (Building Educators for Life.) Before being promoted to this position, John was principal of IDEA Weslaco College Preparatory school in Weslaco, TX. Prior to that he was a Chemistry and Physics Alternative Certification Officer for the Houston Independent School District in Houston, TX. Throughout his 15-year career in the Houston Independent School District, he also served as a Secondary Science Instructional Coordinator, Instructional Coach, and Science Teacher.

    Kelly Lloyd & Rachel Seymour

    Kelly Lloyd and Rachel Seymour are experienced Early Years practitioners and leaders who specialize in empowerment and fearless leadership. With a refreshing and remarkable mindset they support educators in clearing their limiting beliefs and fears which enables limitless and unique teaching philosophies and practices to be developed.

    Alison Davis
    Consultant, coach and committed educator

    Alison Davis is a passionate educator who uses engaging, entertaining and practical educational strategies for teachers and leaders in international markets. She has extensive experience with school improvement, teacher development, specialist coaching and curriculum consultancy. Alison has extensive consultancy and professional development experience in over 50 countries using practical, research-driven instructional strategies. Alison is a highly respected keynote speaker and engaging workshop presenter on quality instructional strategies and school improvement. She has been a Principal, curriculum director, coach and classroom teacher for over 40 years. Alison is committed to turning the most current educational research into implementation for leadership and classroom. She believes in supporting leaders to lead and inspiring teachers to teach with power and passion.

    Mona Fairley-Nelson

    Mona Fairley-Nelson is a 17-year educator who recently transitioned to the Associate Director of Curriculum & Instruction in an American International School in Kuwait. Her dual Bachelor of Science degree in Child & Family Studies and Child Development was earned from the University of Southern Mississippi and she earned her Master's of Education from Troy State University. Additionally, her Administration and Supervision degree was awarded by Kennesaw State University. Currently, she is pursuing her doctorate in Educational Organizational Leadership from Northcentral University. Mona's certification areas are Leadership (K-12), Gifted Education (K-12th) Reading (K-12th), Language Arts (K-8th), and Early Childhood and Elementary Education (K-5th).

    Mona began her career in education as an early childhood and elementary school teacher. She moved into leadership positions, becoming a Model Teacher Leader for 14 cluster schools, Academy Leader for International Business & Entrepreneurship in an IB World School, and then Academy Leader for a start-up single gender secondary academy. During her educational career, she has had the pleasure of inspiring and serving primary, intermediate and secondary students, teachers and principals. Her areas of expertise include school leadership, instructional best practices, designing and revising curriculum, authentic assessment, differentiated instruction and how to effectively use data to inform instruction and increase student achievement.

    Christiane Rouhana

    Christiane Rouhana is a clinical psychologist, teacher, trainer and guidance counselor, with over 10 years of hands-on experience in effective teaching, as well as child safety and well-being. She is a certified Kidproof Safety instructor, a Canadian child safety education and curriculum provider benefitting millions of educators, parents and students worldwide. As a Kidproof trainer, Christiane is highly sought-after, by educators and parents alike, for her candid, effective and practical approach on training topics such as classroom management, child and adolescent psychology, educational psychology, learning disabilities, effective classroom discipline strategies, stress management, conflict resolution, and child safety (Internet safety, personal safety, bullying, health and emotional safety, etc.) Christiane also heads Kidproof's MENA region "Free Counseling Clinic" Program, ensuring that school management and thousands of educators, parents and students receive free and high-quality counseling and support. She also successfully founded "Mom's oasis"; a platform offering a series of workshops and meetings for mothers discussing psycho-educational topics and providing effective and proactive advice and parenting strategies.

    For over 20 years, Christiane has volunteered in countless youth mentoring organizations, has co-founded the St-Vincent de Paul boarding summer camps for underprivileged children, and is the International commissioner of a member organisation in WAGGGS (World association of girl guides and girl scouts). Christiane earned her Professional Masters in Clinical and Pathological Psychology in 2005, and has since dedicated herself to providing every stakeholder in a child's life - the educators, the parents and the children themselves - the tools and knowledge necessary to keep children safe and well.

    Jennifer Hogan

    Jennifer Hogan, as Director of Little World and Computer Explorers UAE, develops educational projects across Abu Dhabi and UAE to enhance STEM literacy in our youth. Jennifer is an advocate for practical STEM work and integrating scientific thinking in all aspects of the curriculum. Before moving into education, Jennifer worked as a research scientist in a renewable energy facility in the UK. She was scientist in residence in a UK primary school and a STEM consultant winning several awards for innovative science and computing teaching.

    Chassie Selouane

    Chassie Selouane has a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre & Education, a Master's of Education Degree- Curriculum Instruction with a Specialization in ESL Education, a PMC in ESL Education, a PMC in Instructional Leadership & currently writing her disertation and is dual candidate for a PHD in ESL and PHD in Instructional Leadership. Chassie is The Director of Learning & an Assistant Principal at Sharjah American International School-Dubai Campus. Chassie is also a contributing writer for Teach UAE Magazine and Educational Journal Middle East.

    Chassie is passionate about education and believes that all educators should strive to be life long learners, and lead students and collegues by examples and modeling. Knowledge is an invaluable tool that has no limitations, and when paired with a positive attitude and hard work anything is possible and no expectation is too high. Chassie's personal motto is "Attitude is contagious".

    She was a speaker at 2016 Edutech Conference, 2016 Educational Leaders Forum, 2016 Edmodocon and 2016 GESS.

    Chassie had the honor of being the only individual canidate to hold three individual category nominations for the 2014 ,2015 & 2016 GESS Educational Awards. She was a 2014 finalist for Community Citizenship, Innovation in Education Award. She was Outstanding Contribution in Education Award and a 2015 finalist for Outstanding Use of ICT in the classroom, Outstanding Contribution in Education, and Innovation in Education Awards. In 2016 she holds the honor of finalist in Community Citizenship, Innovation in Education and Outstanding Contribution to Education. She was honored at the 2016 GESS Educational Awards by being awarded the Special Judges Commendation Award for her contributions to education.

    Janet Larsen Roberts

    Janet Larsen Roberts has taught English for 30 years with middle school, high school, university and adult students and teachers in the U.S. and UAE. She graduated cum laude from Utah State University with a Bachelor of Science in English and a Minor in Communication and Theatre. In the U.S., she led her schoolís Character Development team. A native English speaker, Janet has also taught English at the UAE Academy and Zayed University. She published a practical resource book called Fun & Creative Strategies for Teaching Correct Comma Usage. She is a Certified International Kagan Trainer and the Kagan Coordinator for Abu Dhabi University Knowledge Group. Janet draws upon her vast teaching experience and leads teachers and administrators to discover new truths through her energetic, inspiring, and highly engaging hands-on presentations.

    Dr. Troy P. Regis

    Dr. Troy P. Regis is entering his 21st year in education, where he was worked as a teacher, cognitive learning coach, and administrator for grades K-12. He is currently the Academic Deputy Head at the School of Modern Skills. His background is in elementary and middle school mathematics teaching, and his Masters and Doctorate degrees are both in Mathematics Education. He has been a classroom teacher for 12 years, designing and facilitating PD for teachers for over 15 years, worked with pre-service teachers in three US universities, and has been cognitive coaching teachers for half of his career. He is an international speaker and published author of several works, including a grade six mathematics textbook and other mathematics resources for elementary and middle school students.

    Tamara Jochinke

    Tamara Jochinke began her teaching career in Sydney, Australia while completing her Masters of Geoscience at Macquarie University. From there, she and her husband moved to her home of New York City where she taught Biology and Earth Science at an all-girls public high school in Manhattan. During this time she presented at Harvardís Project Zero conference and was asked by the city to write and publish a Common Core aligned bundle integrating ELA literacy and science standards. She went on to be a literacy coach with New Visions for Public schools supporting teachers across the Bronx to align their curriculum to the common core by using literacy strategies such as protocols and Socratic seminar. Although she loved her work as a literacy coach, it made her realize her passion was being part of a school community. Tammy then went on to be a Curriculum and Instruction Assistant Principal at KAPPA International, an IB world school in the Bronx. Fate would pull her and her husband to Dubai in 2014 and shortly thereafter was hired by GEMS Al Khaleej National School. There she is the Director of Academic Standards and Curriculum, the Professional Development Coordinator and Co-Chair of NEASC steering committee. Tammy has worked with the school over the past three years to further align their curriculum, instruction and assessment to the CCSS and NGSS, attain a higher KHDA rating and gain NEASC accreditation by 2017. She has earned her leadership degree from the College of St. Rose in New York and looks forward to enrolling for her Education Doctorate in the near future. Most importantly however, Tammy is loving life as a new mother to a 1 year old very active baby boy!

    Gillian Wilson

    Gillian Wilson holds a BSc Hons in Psychology from Queens University Belfast, aRussel Group University in the UK. Following her Bachelors she trained to become a secondary schools teacher in the UK. Starting her career teaching mainstream secondary students, in an inclusive school in the UK. The school was defined as facing challenging circumstances by the UK GOV and had a one of the largest SEND populations, in a mainstream school. Holding positions as Head of Department and Head of Year. By 2006 Gillian had taken position as a College Manager producing one of the most significant value add points totals nationally, with 12.3% of the population having send. Continuing to work with the SEND population, Gillian was seconded to work specifically with the SEN department, monitoring and providing individualised education to a cohort of disengaged students. This was part of continued SIP for a school deemed to be in 'Special Measures' by OFSTED. In 2008 Gillian was headhunted to set up a specialist school in Essex UK, for students age 11 - 18 with Autism, Asperger's & SEMH. In October 2008 Gillian assumed position as Head teacher & SENCO, placing her as one of the youngest Head teachers in the UK. Since that time Gillian has consulted in Dubai from 2008 - 2011. Returning to the UK to work with two private specialist education providers. At Cambian Group PLC Gillian held position as domestic Business Development Director for Education for the UK, responsible for the assessment & admissions process for placement of students with special needs to 22 NMISS and 4 Colleges across the UK. In 2014 she was asked to take on the role of International Business Development Director for Education for the group. During this time Gillian trained domestically and internationally, professionals from 75 different countries in SEND & Inclusion. The highly specialised setting gave Gillian unique insight in to the training needs of mainstream teachers to enable earlier intervention. In 2016 Gillian relocated to New York, and continued to consult as part of SEN World, providing training solutions to schools and organisations seeking to provide education and positive interventions for young people with SEND. In addition to her work with SEN World™ Gillian is a registered coach with the UK Department for Education and the National College for Teaching and Learning in the UK, as part of the 'Women in Leadership in Education' initiative. Gillian is a member of the British Psychological Society, the British Institute of Learning Disabilities & SENJIT at UCL London.

    Jacqueline Burns

    "Hitting the Life Lottery" is how Jacqueline Burns describes her journey of moving to the UAE to teach mathematics. Jacqueline uprooted from a major metropolitan school district in the United States after spending more than a decade of service as a classroom teacher, instructional coach, and lead mathematics specialist. Her passion for learning and teaching in mathematics has led to some pretty awesome experiences - from facilitating mathematics sessions locally and nationally, to facilitating sessions with and for Dr. William McCallum (lead writer of the Common Core Mathematics Standards). Inspiration for the MENA Summit presentation comes from her recent treks to the Museum of Mathematics in New York, and to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Jacqueline's niche is making relevant and real life connections to the content and practice standards with simplicity and understanding.

    Heather Roy

    Heather Roy has been teaching for over 20 years in Canada and the UAE in both elementary and secondary classrooms. She is currently working as a Technology Teaching and Learning Coach at the American School of Dubai (ASD). Heather is passionate about Google Apps for Education and the power it has to transform teaching and learning in schools. She is a Google Certified Trainer and Co-Leader of the Dubai Google Educator Group (GEG).

    Dr. Jason Johnson

    Dr. Jason is from Buffalo, New York (USA). He has experience teaching mathematics at the elementary, middle grades, and secondary levels in Orlando, Florida (USA). His research interests are technology in the teaching and learning of mathematics, teaching for social justice, and ethnomathemtics.

    Pierre Atallah

    Pierre Atallah is an educational professional with 15+ years of experience in the educational arena in three main areas: experiential education, educational leadership and management and integration of technology in Education. His interest and passion revolves around using education (Maths & Sciences) as tools for community and social development.

    Patricia Mezu

    Patricia Mezu is the founder and Managing Director of Professional Minds FZ LLC, a Dubai based educational consultancy firm. The company specializes in preschool improvement and the efficient and successful setup of nurseries and early childhood centres under license of the UAE Ministry of Social Affairs (MOSA) and KHDA. Professional Minds also provides on going support to nursery owners in areas such as curriculum development, staff training, management consulting, assessment and policy development. Patricia is a former lawyer who made a career change into Early Childhood Education. She completed a Montessori Teacher diploma course in 1998 and has never looked back. She has worked in a number of capacities in Montessori Education, the British Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum as well as the US Common Core Curriculum and has been based in Dubai, UAE for 11 years. Patricia was the founding head of the kindergarten section at Raffles International School. Under her leadership, the Raffles South kindergarten section was rated outstanding for 3 years in a row, by the KHDA.Patricia has worked with a number of unsatisfactory pre-schools in Dubai and raised their status to 'acceptable'. Professional Minds has successfully set up a number of pre-schools in Dubai.

    Training work conducted by Patricia has included work with Arabian Child, Pearson, Oxford University Press, MENA Common Core Conferences and the School of Modern Skills, Dubai. Topics have included - differentiation; childcentred teaching practice; effective strategies for school improvement; as well as observation and assessment techniques in preschools. Patricia has a Masters Degree in Education (University of London) and her recent research thesis is entitled 'Effective and Sustainable Strategies for Pre-School Improvement: A UAE Journey'.

    How To Register

    Individual Registration: Individual Link

    Group Registration: Group Link

    Preconference only on 7 October:

    800 AED per person

    Conference only on 8 October:

    1000 AED per person

    Preconference and Conference Costs:

    1250 AED per person

    Registration payment must be received by 2 October 2016.

    Payment options are below:

    PayPal (credit card)

    Wire transfer

    Cash deposit

    Registration Costs include:

    • Preconference: Workshop, refreshment break
    • Conference: Bag, keynote, workshop sessions, breakfast, lunch, and refreshment breaks
    • Professional Development certificate for participation


    Refund Amount If Cancelled By
    50% of total paid 23rd September 2016
    25% of total paid 30th September 2016
    • No refunds will be given for registration cancelled after 1 October 2016.
    • All registration after 2 October 2016 will be charged a late fee of 100 AED to your package (per person).

    Where the Teacher Summit will take place:

    Universal American School
    P.O. Box 79133, Al Rashidiya
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    Tel.: +9714 2325222

    Location Map

    MENA Teacher Summit Hotels

    InterContinental DFC: From Deluxe room = AED 650++ per night including breakfast and internet for single occupancy.
    *Additional AED 100 for the double occupancy.

    Universal American School Conference rate - InterContinental DFC
    Crowne Plaza DFC: From Superior room = AED 550++ per night including breakfast and internet for single occupancy.
    *Additional AED 100 for the double occupancy.

    Universal American School Conference rate - Crowne Plaza DFC

    Rove Hotels

    To reserve contact: or phone: 800-ROVE(7683)

    Counselor's Corner

    A-List Education Middle East

    A-List Education


    Cultivating Grit and Non-Cognitive Skills through the Common Core and SAT/ACT

    Lead Presenter: Scott Farber

    Facilitator: Alonzo Sherman

    Educators need tools to evaluate and teach both academic and non- cognitive skills to ensure that students are ready for college and beyond. This workshop will explore how to integrate instructional practices focused on what an expanding body of research indicates is necessary to improve persistence and success rates once students leave high school.

    Integrating SAT/ACT Math and the Common Core

    Lead Presenter: Scott Farber

    Facilitator: Thomas O'Brien

    The SAT and ACT are closely aligned with Common Core Math Standards. This workshop will explore how the Common Core Math Standards are connected to specific sections, question types, and strategies applicable to the SAT and ACT exams. Participants will learn how to integrate SAT and ACT exam preparation content, techniques, and strategies into curricula to help students hone the skills they need for college readiness.

    Integrating SAT/ACT ELA and the Common Core

    Lead Presenter: Kyra Atekwana

    Facilitator: Treva Tam

    The SAT and ACT are closely aligned with Common Core ELA Standards. This workshop will explore how the Common Core ELA Standards are connected to specific sections, question types, and strategies applicable to the SAT and ACT exams. Participants will learn how to integrate SAT and ACT exam preparation content, techniques, and strategies into curricula to help students hone the skills they need for college readiness.

    Debunking Myths about the SAT/ACT and U.S. College Application Process (Guidance Counselor Breakout)

    Lead Presenter: Alonzo Sherman

    Facilitator: Kyra Atekwana

    Recent changes to the SAT and ACT have made the exam landscape more complex. This workshop aims to debunk common misconceptions about the recent changes to the SAT and ACT exams. By examining data and drawing on A-Listís experience guiding students through the U.S. college application process, participants will have a deeper understanding of the SAT and ACT exams and the role that these exams play in the broader college application process.


    ASCD Books

    Bilingual and Multilingual Learners from the Inside-Out: Elevating Expertise in Classrooms and Beyond

    Bryan Goodwin

    On ASCD:
    On Amazon:

    On ASCD:
    On Amazon:

    On ASCD:
    On Amazon:

    Patti Drapeau

    On ASCD:, 2014)
    On Amazon:

    On Google:Great Teaching with Graphic Organizers 2nd edition revised and updated (Hawker Brownlow, 2010)
    On Amazon:

    On Google:Differentiated Instruction: Making It Work (Scholastic, 2004)
    On Amazon:

    Sue Beers

    On ASCD: Reading Strategies for the Content Areas: An ASCD Action Tool, Volume 1 and Volume II
    On Amazon: Volume 1 and Volume II

    On ASCD:
    On Amazon:

    On ASCD:
    On Amazon:

    On ASCD:
    On Amazon:

    On ASCD:
    On Amazon:

    Data Wise

    Follow MENA Teacher Summit


    Lead Partners

    GCC ASCD Connected Community Steering Committee

    Kevin Simpson
    KDSL Global in the United Arab Emirates; Founder

    Selina Peay-Collins
    English Modern Schools in Qatar; Director of Curriculum

    Mona L. Fairley-Nelson
    American United School of Kuwait; Curriculum Specialist

    Jo Garrahy
    Riffa Views International School in Bahrain; Elementary Principal

    Scott Farber
    A-List Education in the USA; President