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 Keynote Speakers

Mark Church
Harvard Researcher and Author

Mark Church works with schools that wish to create cultures of thinking in their classrooms. He believes in the difference teachers can make for students when they strive to make thinking visible, valued, and actively promoted as part of the day-to-day experience of their learners.

Alessandro Andreani

Deledda International School

 Genoa, Italy

My talk is a short but inspirational journey across various disciplines. It reminds teachers that school is the place where students can really grow as human beings.

Sometimes, as the school year goes, we end up worrying about the syllabus, the deadlines, the grades, forgetting that there is no real learning without authentic motivation, without a purpose. This speech will help teachers see that both motivation and purpose are in fact always easily at reach. No matter that book you teach in your literature class, the experiment you run in Science, the sport you introduce in your Physical Education lesson… we can plant seeds of humanity in our students, helping them to flourish into genuinely motivated as well as kindhearted and open-minded beings.

In conclusion, moving from the concept of 'humanitas' as the ancient Romans conceived it, to more contemporary, factual examples, this Mini-Keynote speech is meant to have all teachers feeling encouraged, empowered, and inspired.

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Mary Catherine Holcomb
Bilingual European School, Milan, Italy

As the assessment coordinator in charge of delivering and analzying assessment data from tests like PASS (which is solely focused on the emotional well being of students), I have seen how important it is to not only use data to gather information to understand the wellbeing of students, but how important it is to use those numbers to begin making stronger connections and improving the wellbeing of students. Through quick connections like writing letters, simply having a lunch date, or issuing morning check-ins the numbers are only one piece to a larger puzzle -- it is what we do as educators with those numbers. Reading personal letters from my students in a "What I want my teacher to know" format has given me ways to connect with them on personal levels that let them know that they are more than just students to me. When I ask them about a personal detail, I see on their faces the way it makes them feel seen and heard, and it only proves to me the little steps are worth taking in fostering those relationships.

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