This November 4-5, Search Associates Bill and Alison Turner were pleased to attend the annual Mediterranean Association of International Schools (MAIS) Conference, held at the Crowne Plaza Rome - St. Peter’s. The theme, Centering on Learners, focused on providing delegates with “sustained professional learning opportunities and support systems focusing on learner-centered experiences that effectively improve teaching and learning." While focused on connecting with and supporting many Search Associates (SEARCH) candidates and member schools, Bill and Alison were also able to attend a couple of enriching presentations.
In line with SEARCH’s mission of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ), Alison and Bill attended Hiring in International Schools with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Mind, led by Director at the American International School of Cairo Kapono Ciotti. Kapono clarified the meanings of three phenomena that threaten DEIJ: implicit bias, racial anxiety, and stereotype threat. He recommended that school communities start with discussions about identity and communication because those are the themes “relevant to all.”
Alison and Bill enjoyed Saturday’s keynote speech by Education Consultant Lisa Bosio, who contended that “in a nutshell, all learning is social and emotional.” For children to learn, “they need to Maslow before they can Bloom!” she said. In other words, when learners are able to identify and regulate their emotions, they can work well independently or with peers, and they can tap into parts of their brain that may otherwise be shut off to learning.
During the event, the Turners were thankful to catch up with long-term friends of Search Associates, such as Heather Collins (Elementary School Principal at the American Community School in Abu Dhabi), Jen Ricks (Director of Learning at the American Community School in Abu Dhabi), Mike Emborsky (Head of School, American School of Tunis), Rob Evans (Head of School at the American School Tangier) and SEARCH candidates Susan Matter (American Overseas School of Rome), Emily Oxford and Courtney Gray (American IS Cairo), and Mary Gutekunst (Rabat American School).
This conference is always a friendly and practical event with both outside speakers and MAIS teacher presenters, aiming to provide plenty of great ideas for MAIS teachers to take back to their own classrooms. We recommend it highly to teachers in MAIS schools.