American Curriculum English Language Arts Freelancer Consultant

October 22, 2015

KDSL seeks a capable American Curriculum English Language Arts (ELA) Freelance Consultant to serve as a key team member in this growing organization. The organization seeks to transform K–12 ELA education in the MENA region by providing professional learning, school-based support, and institutes focused on alignment to the Common Core State Standards.

Know.Do.Serve.Learn (KDSL) offers Global Educational Collaboration Services and the mission is: to partner with education organizations worldwide in order to increase student achievement, teacher knowledge, and education leadership.

• Knowledge
• Action
• Achievement
• Relationships

Services are individualized and tailored to the needs of the organization, schools, teachers, grade level teams, and student achievement data. KDSL employs a blended approach (face-to-face and virtual interaction) at times when serving.

Current collaboration around the world is connected to:
• Professional Development
• Accreditation
• Conferences

The American Curriculum ELA Freelance Consultant will play an important role in the success of KDSL. S/he will work alongside the two co-founders to support professional learning in the MENA region and beyond. The position offers great opportunities for learning and growth. This person will immediately contribute by:
• Working with schools and educators to design an ELA professional learning plan;
• Working with the co-founders to recruit, build and manage a network of ELA educators and working directly with educators;
• Developing American curriculum focused webinars, forums, trainings and institutes based on feedback from schools
• Provide monthly ELA tips for educators

Strong candidates will bring the following skills and experiences:
• Deep content expertise in K-12 ELA, curriculum design and understanding of the Common Core State Standards;
• A minimum of 8-10 years of professional experience in K–12 education, with some hands-on experience in either the state or district ELA curriculum design or support preferred;
• A minimum of 5 years of teaching experience in ELA and/or an ability to demonstrate genuine respect for teachers and teaching and collaborate with educators throughout the process (preferably a classroom teacher, teacher leader);
• A proven strategic and project management skill set, including the ability to effectively manage multiple stakeholders and meet ambitious timelines;
• Demonstrated experience working effectively on teams and with diverse populations;
• Exceptional written and spoken communications and interpersonal skills;
• Experience developing high-quality, engaging adult learning and facilitation preferred; and
• Understanding of current ELA education reform issues, preferably in the areas of curriculum, instruction and assessment.

Strong candidates will possess the following personal characteristics:
• Passion for the KDSL mission;
• Superior judgment and ability to maintain professional, upbeat attitude and sense of humor under pressure;
• A deep sense of personal responsibility and integrity
• A collaborative, inclusive approach to building consensus and taking action; and
• An ability to work independently and collaborate with colleagues and educators in a virtual work environment.

Payment is commensurate with experience. This is not a job but based on project-based work. The location of the project-based work is in Dubai (we are open to a virtual position) with work around the entire MENA region. However, we will hire the most talented and well-qualified candidate.

Please submit a compelling cover letter, two references, sample workshop you have presented (agenda, presentation, supporting materials), sample video of you as a facilitator, and a resume to Only serious applicants need to apply. We will contact you if your background matches the position.

KDSL Arabic Consultant – Mazen El Sheikh

November 11, 2015

Mazen Al Sheikh

Mazen El Sheikh has served as the Arabic Program Coordinator at the American Community School of Beirut and Riffa Views International School in Bahrain, and has supervised the Arabic Heritage language program at the American International School of Muscat. He is an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma examiner and previously served as a NESA Arabic Advisory group member. Mazen has conducted numerous workshops for Arabic teachers at various conferences in the Arab region and the Middle East and has worked as a consultant, curriculum developer, literacy coach and teacher trainer for the World Language Initiative of International Schools Services. Currently, he is the Director of Arabic at the American School of Dubai. Mazen holds a B.A. in Arabic language and a Teaching Diploma from the American University of Beirut as well as a certificate for teaching English to speakers of other languages from Cambridge University. He is currently completing his Master’s in Education Administration from Endicott College, Massachusetts.

As KDSL Arabic consultant for American curriculum schools in the MENA region, Mazen will provide support to educators in their endeavors to refine their curriculum and pedagogical practices.

Tips for American curriculum schools in the MENA region are now available

November 8, 2015

November 2015 TIPS (dragged)-page-001

KDSL Education Internship – Winter 2016

October 27, 2015

KDSL – Know.Do.Serve.Learn Global Education Collaboration Services, based in the United Arab Emirates is looking to provide internships throughout the year. KDSL partners with organizations worldwide to increase student achievement, teacher knowledge, and education leadership. The internship will be diverse and challenging. Responsibilities will include:
1. Research. Primary topics of interest for KDSL are: school development, global learning, innovation, American curriculum, instruction, assessment, professional learning, teacher quality, standards, and technology. KDSL is seeking an intern with experience and interest in the education field who can perform high-quality research and write clearly. Research tasks would include crafting weekly reports using a wide range of sources.
2. Writing. KDSL is devoted to sharing and collaborating with K-12 education stakeholders worldwide. This is done via the KDSL Blog, Facebook, Twitter, website, and newsletter. A KDSL intern would have the opportunity to contribute to these various marketing and media sources.
3. Leadership. There are many opportunities to learn and expand leadership skills within the organization. KDSL has embarked on organizing conferences and forums focused on the American curriculum in the MENA region.
KDSL seeks a resourceful, intelligent, detail-oriented, hard-working individual who is capable of excelling in an intellectually stimulating work environment. Research experience is desired, strong writing skills a must and Internet experience greatly welcome. The time commitment is 5 hours virtually a week for this internship. Please browse the KDSL weblog at and the website at for more information about the organization.

Individuals interested in a KDSL internship should send a cover letter, resume, and a writing sample to: Kevin Simpson by 15 November. This winter internship is from January-May 2016.

KDSL Mathematics Consultant – Dr. Cory Bennett

October 13, 2015

Bennett Polydron4.1

Cory A. Bennett is an Associate Professor of mathematics education at Idaho State University and works closely with pre-service and in-service teachers on developing their professional practice. Cory is also the Director of the Albion Center for Education Innovation which oversees several projects relating to effective instructional practices in mathematics, school leadership initiatives, and academic coaching. Cory has published numerous research and practitioner papers on the teaching and learning of mathematics and serves on committees for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators.

Cory completed his undergraduate degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in mathematics at Western Washington University. He then attended the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, where he earned both his Masters in Curriculum studies with an emphasis in Middle-Level education and his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in mathematics education.

Cory is certified in both elementary education and secondary mathematics and holds National Board Certification in Early Adolescence–Mathematics. Prior to moving to higher education, Cory was an eighth grade mathematics and algebra teacher, instructional coach, new teacher mentor, and a district resource specialist in culturally, linguistically, and ethnically diverse communities in Hawai’i.

In his role as a KDSL mathematics consultant for American curriculum schools in the MENA region, Cory is focusing his efforts on helping teachers implement research-based strategies that promote students’ mathematical reasoning and mathematical practices. Services provided by Cory are aimed at increasing the professional knowledge and practices of teachers and developing the internal capacity of schools to support teacher leaders developing their cognitive coaching skills.

For more information on Cory’s work in the MENA region please visit:

To learn more about KDSL please visit

3rd Annual MENA Common Core Conference Press Release

September 22, 2015

KDSL Convenes Third Annual MENA Common Core Conference

Professional Development Targets MENA’s American Curriculum Teachers and Administrators

DUBAI, UAE, September 21, 2015 – On Friday, October 16, and Saturday, October 17, MENA region American curriculum teachers and school leadership teams will convene at the American University in Dubai to discuss Common Core State Standards (CCSS) implementation, share curricula and best practices, and network. Organized by Know.Do.Serve.Learn. (KDSL), a UAE-based education company, this third annual conference aims to advance teaching and learning to benefit the region’s American curriculum students.

In over 25 interactive sessions, participants will be led by expert educators from leading global education organizations to explore the English Language Arts, Mathematics, and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) curricula that are being implemented across the region, as well as discuss issues related to school culture, teacher support, and leadership. A first for the region, the conference will spotlight the new national arts standards that shape student learning and achievement in dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts. Attendees will partake in collaborative planning and action planning sessions to help practically implement lessons learned during the event.

The conference will be keynoted by mathematics teaching and learning expert Dr. Norman Webb, who is Senior Research Scientist, Emeritus, for the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin. He developed the widely used Depth of Knowledge (DOK) system while at the U.S. National Science Foundation, as well as participated as a member of the CCSS validation committee.

The conference provides access to top education publishers and education organizations. Julie Till, Head of Business Development for Central Asia, Middle East & North Africa at Oxford University Press, stated, “Oxford University Press is delighted to support this valuable professional development ‎opportunity for American curriculum schools in the region. With a publishing house in New York and Oxford, we are committed to providing effective training and resources for schools following the Common Core State Standards.”

Other conference partners include the Northwest Evaluation Association, the UAE Learning Network, Teach UAE Magazine, Hale Education Group, WebbAlign, Interactive Data Partners, Teacher Created Materials Publishing, A-List Education, Triumph Learning, and Scholastic.

Educators and school leaders from the MENA region American curriculum schools are encouraged to attend. To register and view the agenda, sessions and presenter biographies, please visit

KDSL is a UAE-based education company focused on providing professional development to American curriculum educators in the MENA region. KDSL was founded by Kevin Simpson and Alison Burrows, who bring more than 25 years of combined experience in the field of education and training. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Kevin Simpson, KDSL,, +971 50 289 8417

Principal Leadership Development

September 20, 2015

Recently the KDSL team had the chance to chat with Deborah Tyler, Director of Principal Leadership at the National Association of Elementary School Principals or NAESP.

What advice would you give to a new elementary school principal?

It is so important for a new principal to do a deep environmental scan of their school community. The principal must know all the major stakeholders in order to begin developing trust and building relationships. A new principal must focus on 4 main groups: students, parents, teachers and stakeholders. A lack of situational awareness is the downfall of most principals. They are suddenly thrust center stage where their every action is scrutinized fully. Principals need to have the self-awareness to see themselves through the lens of their stakeholders. It is useful to create a ‘go-to’ group of friends for honest feedback and criticism. An example is in the book “Leadership on the Line,” authors Heifetz and Linsky stress the importance of leaders to move back and forth from the dance floor to the balcony. Leaders become so immersed in their work but they need to take the time to step back and see how all the pieces fit into the ‘jigsaw puzzle’ and are acting upon each other as a whole. It is important to maintain the balance in our lives. This is especially true for a first year principal. This, although, is easier said than done. It is vital for a new principal to make personal time for friends, family, and more importantly self. This allows for more self-reflection and ability to reevaluate thinking.

What are three things an elementary school principal should do daily?

1. Connect with your students: All students need to have faith in you and know you’re committed to working with them.

2. Connect with staff: Realize that everyone in your school is vital to its overall success.

3. Provide constructive feedback: Provide timely and positive feedback to improve your school’s efficacy. This can be achieved through spending time in classrooms and with teacher groups.

How has the role of an elementary school principal changed since you were one?

It’s only been six years since I served as a principal, but I have watched it change drastically during my previous and current roles. The span of responsibility has increased, the major factors being instructional demand and overall needs of students. The greatest change has probably been the overall influence of social media in education and on our students who arrive at school as ‘digital natives’. This means leaders must be flexible to change and be risk takers. Principalship remains one of the most critical factors globally to continue the success of education and our future citizens.

Deborah Tyler is currently NAESP Director of Principal Leadership Development. Tyler has experience as a teacher, school-based administrator, and central office administrator while working at NAESP. Her roles have included the review and assessment of school improvement plans and instructional programs with regard to requirements from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the Virginia Standards of Learning. She was responsible for the principal hiring processes, principal performance evaluation and school-based administrator professional development.
Her most recent roles prior to joining NAESP were as Assistant Superintendent of Region 3 and Assistant Superintendent of Cluster 4 in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) in Virginia. Tyler was responsible for leading 44 elementary, middle, and high schools. Prior to her work at the Superintendent’s level and the FCPS Leadership Team, Tyler served as principal of Eagle View Elementary School. Working with various FCPS departments, she laid the groundwork to open the new school, including the hiring of all staff, working with members of the community to select a name for the new school and engaging parents in the new school community. During her time there, she worked with faculty members to develop a strategic vision for academic excellence and established professional learning communities.
Tyler’s first principalship was at Pine Spring Elementary School. Under her, the school accomplished the largest school-wide achievement gains in the district and was recognized with the Distinguished Title I School award from the Virginia Department of Education. She received the Milken National Educator award and the Virginia Association of Elementary Principals School Bell award during her time as Pine Spring principal. Tyler is currently completing her doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.


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