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Sklobal Webinar - Using Improvisation to Build Community and Literacy in the Classroom

Sklobal Webinar –  Using Improvisation to Build Community and Literacy in the Classroom


Presenter: Lisa Safran

Date: Monday April 22nd, 2013

Time:  9:30 AM US CST / 4:30 PM CET / 6:30 PM GST

Presentation Registration Form:

Maximum Number of Participants: 50



Presentation Description:


Using Improvisation to Build Community and Literacy in the Classroom is a hands-on improvisational workshop! In this fun and interactive webinar, participants will explore the world of improvisation and it’s connection to literacy and building self-esteem and community.


Extensive research has been conducted on the positive effects of creative play and learning. Many teachers already know the benefits of incorporating drama activities to help students express themselves and retell stories. Drama creates a meaningful and memorable way for students to acquire language and to feel at ease due to the nature of play and fun that drama facilitates. Drama exercises help students to overcome inhibitions and improve oral expression including intonation and pronunciation.


Improvisational theatre games are a step beyond traditional drama. It is a spontaneous art form and a fun and creative way to help students build their language skills. Through participation in a variety of improvisational games, students will begin to feel at ease with expressing their ideas and move toward telling stories in an organized manner. The key to improvisation is accepting offers of others. It is this key principal that supports community building and creating an atmosphere of trust and support.


During this 60 minute webinar, Lisa Safran, educator and owner of Improv Consultants will share her experience on applying improvisation in classroom. By the end of the session participants will begin to see the value in using improvisation and it might quite be one of the hidden wonders of the world when it comes to building literacy skills!


No experience necessary—just a willingness to come prepared to participate fully.




Lisa Safran, author of Reading and Writing Come Alive: Using Improvisation to Build Literacy and owner of Improv Consultants. She conducts professional and teacher development workshops around the world to demonstrate how to use improvisation to build strong communication skills and teamwork. Lisa has provided services to a broad range of businesses ranging from tech firms to fitness coaches.

With over 12 years teaching experience in the US and internationally, Lisa has served as a mentor to new teachers and as a master and supervising teacher to student teachers. Lisa has expertise in the following areas: effective teaching practices that support the different learning styles of all students, supporting second language literacy development in English learners, and professional development and teacher education.

Combining her expertise in theatre and education, Lisa now leads effective training programs to support individuals, businesses, and schools. Lisa provides executive presence coaching to support business owners and executives in developing increased confidence through the use of innovative, practical, and enjoyable techniques.



Global demand for English-speakers grows

More than half a million teachers will be needed by 2022, experts say

The number of English-speaking teachers working in international schools has topped 300,000 for the first time, with that number expected to grow to more than half a million in the next 10 years, new figures have revealed.

Strong economies, particularly in areas such as Asia and the Middle East, have fuelled a boom in demand for British and American-style education, leading to a sustained increase in the number of international schools overseas.

The UK is the biggest single supplier of staff to the sector, accounting for more than 100,000 teachers, which equates to more than a fifth of the overall teaching workforce in England.

The numbers were released by ISC Research, an organisation that tracks international schools and is part of the International School Consultancy Group. It says that the number of such schools has more than doubled to 6,400 since the turn of the century.

Britain’s education system is increasingly being seen as a highly lucrative export: the education sector overall, including universities, is said to be worth anywhere between £7 billion and £15 billion a year to the UK economy.

According to ISC Research, the demand for English-speaking schools abroad will cause the number to nearly double again to an estimated 11,300 by 2022, employing a predicted 529,000 teachers and teaching around 6 million students. Based on annual fee income, the international school market is bringing in £20.8 billion every year, with that figure expected to rise to £30 billion in 10 years’ time.

UK independent schools are increasingly tapping into this lucrative market, with Harrow School, Wellington College and Marlborough College having opened campuses in Asia and the Middle East.

However, some of the larger international school providers are concerned that the rapid expansion of the market is making it difficult for the supply of high-quality English-speaking teachers to keep up with demand.

Clive Pierrepont, director of communications at Taaleem, one of the largest international school providers in the Middle East, said companies such as his needed to sell the benefits of life abroad even more to try to attract the best teachers.

“The supply of teachers is definitely more challenging as a result of the growth in the market, especially for the cream of the crop such as qualified, experienced International Baccalaureate and British teachers,” Mr Pierrepont said.
“It’s important for us to show good candidates the quality of life that they can get there: the location and lifestyle, and also the professional development opportunities and career potential.”

Since 2000, the number of international schools has grown most rapidly in the Middle East. The United Arab Emirates had only 97 such schools at the start of the century but now boasts 378, with companies such as GEMS, Taaleem and US firm World Class Learning leading the market.

But as the number of reputable international schools grows, so too does the number of schools that are more focused on making money than offering a high quality education.

Martin Coles, principal of The British School in the Netherlands, based in The Hague, one of the world’s highest performing international schools, said the opportunity to live and work abroad was a key factor in why so many teachers, from the UK in particular, were looking overseas.

His school had received 160 applicants for a single junior school teacher’s post, and another 142 for just one English teacher role.

But not all schools offered the same high standards as his, he added. “There is a massive range in the types of schools out there,” Mr Coles said. “They are not all hunky-dory. There are more and more schools that are being run for profit, and some people have had some bad experiences.”

While the vast majority of teachers working in international schools enjoy their time abroad, some teachers do have horror stories, as TES uncovered in an article last February.

One teacher, Michelle Holloway, who travelled to the Qatari capital Doha to teach design and technology, described her time there as like “being in a prison”, adding that she felt she had been “totally betrayed”.

“There were CCTV cameras in every room except the toilet. You were docked pay for anything, even for something as petty as leaving the classroom door open,” Ms Holloway said.


Published in TES magazine on 8 March, 2013 | By: Richard Vaughan




International School of Louisiana board approves expanding to second campus

Board members with the International School of Louisiana last week unanimously voted to expand the school to a second campus.


The school, now located at 1400 Camp St., is at capacity with 584 students now enrolled and a total of 650 expected next year, school chief Sean Wilson said during the board’s Feb. 27 meeting.

The new site, at 1516 Thalia St. just off St. Charles Avenue, will house roughly 457 fourth- and fifth-graders.

Asked by a board member if the expansion would improve the quality of education at the school, Wilson didn’t hesitate.

“Yes, quality is an issue,” he said. “There’s a cost in that quality and whether we want to be an A school, a B school, or a C school. I believe the quality is worth it if we are invested in the best interest of the students.”

Wilson spoke for almost the duration of the meeting about the benefits of expanding the school.

Currently, he said, the space constraints force students to eat outdoors. The school’s computer lab has been eliminated. There is no designated space for art or music classes. And closets are being used as classrooms.

The total estimated cost of expanding the campus would be $704,113, according to Wilson’s numbers. Estimated costs for staffing the new campus is $329,113, he said. The school will rely on the existing budget to fund the expansion and also hopes to enlist the help of board members to reach out to community and business leaders for donations. The school’s current cash balance is $800,000, Wilson said, and school leaders anticipate breaking even in two to three years after the incurred costs of the expansion.

International School of Louisiana principal Melanie Tennyson says the expansion is critical. “I think we don’t have a choice. We don’t have room. We can’t have meetings. They’re stacked up,” she said.

When asked by a board member about how the teachers feel about the move, Tennyson said they welcome it.

“They’re on board. They know we need to make a move. They are ready to do what it takes,” Tennyson said.

“We are nervous, we are scared that we’re going to be a different school next year. There’s no doubt about it, but they’re talking about how we can stay connected, and they want the go ahead,” Tennyson said.

The board also voted to elect Brenda Richard-Montgomery as a new member and invited Barbara Beckman, professor of pharmacology and associate dean of admissions at Tulane University, to the meeting as a board member candidate.

The nominating committee also met Feb. 26 and decided to keep the size of the board at 11 members, according to a report provided to the board.

All board members were present Thursday, with board member Chantell Harmon Reed arriving about 20 minutes after the meeting started. The meeting was called to order at 6:02 p.m. and adjourned at 7:34 p.m. There were 10 audience members present that included teachers and parents. No executive session was held.

The next board meeting will take place on March 27, 2013 at 6 p.m. at International School of Louisiana 1400 Camp St.


By , Charter School Reporting Corps    

The Lens





Call for Presentation Proposals

Call for Presentations

Sklobal > Connect. Communicate. Collaborate.



Presentation Locations: Online invites the submission of presentations for ongoing virtual professional development sessions.



The purpose of is to connect international schools and educators, create a centralized location for communication and provide avenues of collaboration.

We are seeking presenters and presentations that will focus on innovations taking place within international schools and universities, which lead to sustained improvements in leadership, classrooms, libraries, services, and academic achievement.


Presentation Focus Areas

The area of focus for presentations is innovation in international K12 education. We are seeking innovative techniques that allow students, librarians, teachers, and leaders to creatively address learning, teaching and leadership issues.


We are looking for sessions that:

  • What is it like to teach and live abroad, as well as the expectations that the first time international educators should have prior to accepting their first international teaching position.
  • Discuss how schools define leadership and whether it’s a shared or collaborative role when creating a collaborative learning environment?
  • Demonstrate how process management models have helped create proven results in achievement, services, or financial goals at all levels of education.
  • Exemplify collaborative learning, which has led to improved instruction and ultimately, increased student achievement.
  • Illustrate differentiated models of instruction that lead to increased student achievement across the spectrum of achievement levels.


Submitting a Proposal

If you are interested in submitting a proposal, please contact us for a  Submission Form. Completed proposals will be reviewed by the judges. The first-listed proposal author will be notified personally of the selection process results.


Benefits of Presenting

  • Networking with professionals in your field
  • Exposure and positive promotion
  • Recognition as a contributor to global network of international schools


Submitting Your Complete Proposal

  • Proposals are due March 15th, 2013 for April presentations and April 15th for May through June, 2013 presentations.
  • Contact us for the required Submission Form at  
  • We will do our best to notify all submitters whether their presentations has been accepted for presentation within 30 days.
  • To provide a high level of value to our presentation attendees, Sklobal requires all selected presenters to provide electronic copies of their presentations 2 weeks prior to their presentation. These materials will be collected and posted on the Sklobal web site prior to the presentation and for 30 days following the session.


Further Information - Please contact Adis Saracevic at



Expat education: going international in the exam hall

Expat education: going international in the exam hall


Suzi Dixon compares the IB with the iGCSE, both of which are available in international schools.


Many international schools use curricula specially designed for global families, notably the highly respected International Baccalaureate programme (IB). According to the latest figures from IB World School statistics, the IB programme is available in more than 3,500 schools globally, including locations in the UK and USA, as well as Europe.

In this context, Education Secretary Michael Gove's backtracking over plans to introduce an IB-style qualification in 2015 has been described as a "humiliating climbdown" by Labour.

The fear was that grade inflation in GCSEs and A-levels were devaluing the qualifications – and that IB could offer a rigorous curricula as well as practical skills, logic and reasoning.

While an IB-type programme has been abandoned in the UK – for now – expat families have the luxury of the choice, to some degree, depending on their location. Some schools, such as The King's School, Manila, and The British School chain in the US, offer an international version of the UK's General Certificate of Education – the iGCSE – as well as IB programmes, while others specialise in one qualification only.

Each has its merits but which works best for your children?



International Baccalaureate

While the IB programme as it stands today was first recognised in the 1960s, it has its foundations in the 1940s essentially, when the United Nations International School (UNIS) was established by a group of parents. The International Baccalaureate Mission Statement says that the qualifications aim to "develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect".

The programme has recently been extended to include primary school with the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) and The International Preschool Curriculum (IPC). The IB Diploma Programme (IBDP), a two-year pre-university programme that has remained virtually unchanged since its launch in the 1960s, is regarded by some as more rounded than three or four 
A-levels, as it promotes citizenship and social skills. It can help streamline the university application process if opting for higher education overseas and there are some restrictions that encourage personal development – studies must include at least one foreign language, for example, and the IBDP takes in six subjects, rather than the three or four at A-level. Creativity, action, service (CAS) skills at this level also encourage students to participate in the arts (creativity), learn about health and fitness (action) and volunteer in their community (service).

It is a two- to three-year process to become an IB World School so that must be taken as a mark of quality. Lessons may be taken in English, the local language, or half and half, depending on the region you are in.

Tina Blackaby, a former regional director of the Beaconhouse MENA schools group who has worked with the Abu Dhabi government implementing the UK curriculum in local schools, says parents should be careful. "The IB curriculum is marketed as compatible with curricula all over the world however, the quality of this curriculum as an educational experience varies enormously," she said. "Look very carefully at the particular school you are considering."

iGCSE and English Curriculum

If you are unsure of the length of your expat assignment, English qualifications are also available in many international schools and provide peace of mind, especially if you are moving your family when the children are in their teens and a UK university is the course of choice.

GEMS are one of the international schooling chains who offer this option. "The benefit of GCSEs is transferability back to the UK if a family moves part way through secondary education," said Principal of GEMS Jumeirah College, Fiona Cottam. "It is easier for students to slot back in and therefore an important consideration for parents." She also points out that the A* tier of GCSEs helps schools identify and nurture excellence in pupils while the in-depth and focused nature of A-level courses is good preparation for a university degree.

The international GCSE, or iGCSE, is often described as a tougher version of traditional UK qualifications but it has a higher pass rate, with more students gaining A*-C. This may be because it is mostly offered in prestigious private schools, although it is becoming more mainstream – figures from the Independent Schools Council (ISC) at the end of last year show a 52 per cent rise in the number of iGCSE entries from pupils at ISC schools. In 2012, 97,008 iGCSEs were taken by their pupils, up from 63,882 last year.

IGCSEs were launched in 1988 and coursework is optional – an attractive prospect if your child tests well. They are offered by Cambridge International and Edexcel exam boards. More than 70 subjects are available to study at iGCSE, including more than 30 language courses. However, unlike the IB programme, languages are not compulsory, although iGCSEs have a multi-cultural flavour and are geared for a multi-lingual class.

"More international students are now studying for UK qualifications outside of the UK than those in the UK," points out Tim Sowula of the British Council. "The UK has a tremendous reputation and UK qualifications are highly prized and sought-after around the world."

9:48AM GMT 19 Feb 2013




Expo on international education next month

The Department of International Trade Promotion is hosting the 10th Thailand International Education Expo from February 22-24 to promote the country's credentials as an education destination.

Srirat Rastapana, director-general of the department, said last week that TIEE 2013, in cooperation with 200 international education institutions and service providers, will present the benefits of Thailand going into the international education industry.
The event will highlight Thailand's strategic location in the trade and investment heart of the region, as well as its modern facilities and infrastructure, world famous hospitality, friendly environment and reasonable cost of living.
Some 27 per cent more exhibitors have booked booths at the venue - the Royal Paragon Hall at the Siam Paragon shopping mall.
They come from China, America, India, Germany, Russia, Austria and Japan. Over 10,000 visitors from Thailand and other countries are expected.
Under the theme "Live & Learn in Wonderful Thailand", the country will be portrayed as a great international education country, with the grandest array of international education in the Asean region.
Participants can enjoy gathering in-depth information and seeking professional advice on a comprehensive range of international curricula directly from specialists. They may enjoy shopping for study aids such as software, games and toys as well as educational services.
To reserve exhibition space or make inquiries about TIEE 2013, please contact the department via 66 (2) 507 8385/9,, or and



Bhutan takes conservation into the classroom

By:  Annie Kelly

The Jigme Losel primary school in the Bhutanese capital, Thimphu, is a riot of green. Plants cover most surfaces and are piled precariously on walls and stairwells. On the wall behind the school's vegetable patch a hand-painted sign says: "Let nature be your teacher."

"It's become our unofficial slogan," Choki Dukpa, who has been Headteacher at Jigame Losel since 2005, says. "We want nature to be everywhere the children are. Most of our country is mountains, but here in the city I think the children can feel disconnected. It's our way of bringing the outside to inside the school environment."
For the past three years, Dukpa has been putting the environment at the heart of all teaching and activities at this busy primary school. "Environmental sustainability and nature is now central to the way we teach here," she says.
Since the end of 2009, Bhutan has been trialling a new approach to education. Its Green Schools for Green Bhutan program is part of the country's attempt to integrate principles of its revolutionary Gross National Happiness (GNH) model into all areas of public policy.
Since 1971, this tiny Himalayan state has rejected the idea of measuring progress and prosperity through GDP alone, instead governing through a GNH index – based on four pillars: equitable social development; cultural preservation; conservation of the environment and promotion of good governance.
In 2009, an Educating for GNH conference announced that its principles, in particular the pillar of environmental conservation, would be integrated into the national curriculum to make "learning more relevant, thoughtful and aligned with sustainable practices".
"Green schools is not just about the environment, it is a philosophy, so we're trying to instill a sense of green minds, which are flexible and open to different types of learning," Thakur Singh Powdyel, Bhutan's minister of education, says. "It's a value-led approach to education that stems from the belief that education should be more than academic attainment, it should be about expanding children's minds and teaching what it is to be human – and at the forefront of this is the conservation of the natural environment."
The primary school in Thimphu has a communal vegetable garden and teaches children basic agricultural skills. Each classroom has its own tree to look after and flower garden to tend. There is a scheme aiming to recycle all materials used in the school and a community "green clean" scheme, where children clean the school in the morning using brooms they have made from recycled bottles and twigs.
The children also have daily prayers and meditations, and undertake community work.
The government is determined to put the GNH pillar of cultural preservation into action to counter what it considers the decay of national identity in recent years. The children at Jigme Losel listen to traditional music and stories, and are educated in "Bhutanese values". Although it has faced criticism of its enforcement of cultural traditions – such as an insistence that people wear traditional dress in formal public settings – the education minister believes Bhutan's "strong national identity … should be passed down through the generations".
However, the well-stocked classrooms and vegetable patches of Jigame Losel are a far cry from the reality of school life for many Bhutanese children. The country has made considerable progress in achieving primary education for all children. In the 1960s, only 500 children were enrolled in 11 schools in Bhutan. Last year 17,000 were attending classes in 650 primary schools across the country.
Yet Bhutan is still struggling to get teachers, let alone recycling schemes, in many of its schools located in remote and very poor mountainous regions across the country. "The geography of Bhutan means that many children are very isolated," Bishnu Bhakta Mishra, education officer at Unicef Bhutan, says. "The provision of quality education is still a big issue for the country."
UNICEF Bhutan has partnered the government to help roll out the green schools initiative. The agency is trying to roll out a nationwide teacher-training initiative that it believes is vital to take the lofty principles of the initiative and translate them into practical action in the schoolyard and classroom.
"We are caught up in the challenge of providing resources to 8,000 teachers," Mishra says. "In terms of resources, we are stretched. Implementation at school level is still a big problem, and without training we know it really is almost impossible. The idea is brilliant but it means a lot of added work for the teachers, and we're getting no additional resources from the government.
"I have no doubt that a generation of GNH-minded graduates would be a huge benefit to the country, but it will take time before we see if it really will work."




Taaleem Recruitment Fair 2013

 Taaleem is a leading management group of international schools and early childhood facilities based in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Our schools offer the following programmes: International Baccalaureate, International Primary Curriculum, British and American Curriculum and the International Curriculum for Languages and Creative Arts (ICLCA).

We are interested in meeting professionals who would like to be considered for the following positions as they arise in our schools:
1.  Kindergarten, Foundation, Primary and Elementary classroom positions for our PYP,
     National Curriculum (UK), IPC or US elementary programmes.
2.  Primary and Elementary specialist positions, including teachers of PE, Learning Support,
     Music, French, Arabic and German.
3.  Secondary and High School specialist teachers offering subjects that include Arabic,
     Mathematics, Science, French, German, Geography, Learning Support, PE for MYP, GCSE,
     IB Diploma, AP and A level courses.
Several schools are seeking Curriculum Coordinators and Positions of Responsibility may be available to suitably qualified candidates.
Applications from qualified and experienced professionals for an invitation to attend this event should be made by completing our on-line form that can be found here and all our school websites.
The deadline for submission is Sunday, 13 January 2013. Candidates invited to attend will be informed by Thursday, 17 January 2013.



British school to hold drug tests for pupils

A top private school in Britain, attended by around 1,400 students, will now carry out random drug tests on pupils.

Students at the Cheadle Hulme School in Cheshire who are suspected of taking drugs will be asked to undergo mouth swabs, after permission from parents, The Sun reported.
A school spokesman said drug tests would be carried out "with proper parental consent, should it be deemed appropriate".
Headmistress Lucy Pearson introduced the policy after concerns that some pupils took illegal substances.
Fees at the school are up to 10,000 pounds a year. Around 1,400 boys and girls aged four to 18 attend the school.



Only Half of Students Free iPads Survive Year At British School



Last year, the Honywood Community Science School in Coggeshall, Essex, had a brilliant idea to help student learning: hand out free iPad2 tablets. So, at massive cost to the British taxpayer, they fulfilled their vision, giving iPad2s to 1,200 students. The students were allowed to take the devices home with them.
One year later, half the devices are broken. 489 of the 1,200 devices were shattered beyond recognition. The Daily Mail reports: “Pupils said in some of the younger classes, around half the class had broken their tablet at least once, and some as many as three times. Despite the threat of confiscation after three tablets, ultimately none was taken away from pupils.”
Parents had to pay a small fee for device insurance, but the school will swallow the vast majority of the cost. The devices alone represented 2.3 percent of the school’s annual budget. The school maintains that exam results are up and attendance is up.