Professional Development & Community Learning

From time to time, NIS hosts events or workshops for not only our staff, but also for staff from other schools or the general community. Information on those events will be posted here when details are known. For directions on visiting NIS, please go HERE.


September 15:  Translanguaging (Beth Puma)

How can educators leverage a child’s mother tongue, in order to grow stronger English proficiency gains? English only policies, whether written or unspoken, have negative effects on the multilingual child and have a problematic history in international schools. This workshop will explore multilingual mindsets and help educators bring to light their own biases and lenses that they may unconsciously be bringing to their teaching. Most importantly, the workshop will offer progressive scaffolding tools and translanguaging strategies to help multilingual children reach a high level of academic English proficiency in the English-medium international school. This is a workshop for administrators, EAL professionals, and classroom teachers who are working towards a true international mindset.

Workshop Leader: Beth Puma
Puma is currently an EAL and Literacy Coach at The American School in Japan.  She has worked with linguistically diverse students for ten years both in New York City and Tucson public schools, and most recently in China and Japan. She has a broad range of experience as a classroom teacher, EAL teacher, and curriculum coordinator in the K-12 setting. Puma specializes in working with teachers in unit and lesson planning that strategically meets students’ needs through standards aligned-instruction, differentiation, and scaffolding.  She is dedicated to building a more transformative educational landscape that honors linguistic diversity and challenges societal paradigms.

  • WHEN: Saturday, September 15, 8:30 am - 4:40 pm
  • TOPIC: Translanguaging
  • PRESENTER: Beth Puma
  • COST: Minimal TBA for lunch, etc. only
  • AUDIENCE: This is a workshop for administrators, EAL professionals, and classroom teachers who are working towards a true international mindset.
  • WHERE: NIS Commons or Library
  • SIGN-UP: Required - please sign up HERE


November 3-4:  Moving beyond “Food, Flags and Festivals” (Margaret McClean)

Building International Mindedness in your School Community (8:30-4:30)

Who Should Attend: This session is designed for Teachers, Teacher Leaders, Grade Level Team Leaders, Department Heads, Instructional Coaches, Curriculum Coordinators and Administrators.
Guiding Questions

  • How does our personal identity shape our work as educators?
  • How is international mindedness reflected in our organizational identity, curriculum, school community; Does our organization have a dominant identity?
  • What does international mindedness mean in my setting?
  • How does international mindedness guide our work?

Learning Outcomes

  • Participants will walk away with...
  • A look at Personal Identity through a different lens
  • Consideration of student identities
  • An analysis of Organizational Identity
  • An understanding of the impact of a Dominant Identity on our school
  • Unpacking dilemmas related to international mindedness
  • A specific plan for embedding international mindedness into the classroom and school culture such as a plan to address accreditation requirements for international mindedness.


November 17:  “Building a World Class Reputation in an International School” (Stephen Holmes)

School Marketing and Development Workshop for JCIS Heads of Schools and Admissions/Marketing staff

  • WHEN: Saturday, November 17, all day, exact times TBA
  • TOPIC: “Building a World Class Reputation in an International School”
  • PRESENTER: Stephen Holmes
  • AUDIENCE:   Heads, Marketing, Communications and Development staff, Board or anyone else with an interest in supporting your school in this area)
  • COST: Minimal TBA for lunch, etc. only
  • SIGN-UP: Required - will be available soon
  • Possible pre-workshop meeting with Marketing/Communications/Development staff on Friday, Nov. 16 - depending on interest - more information to come!)


June 8-9: Creating Connections Conference (two-day conference, Saturday & Sunday)

  • More details to come
  • April, 2018 Conference Website