By: Vickie Swann
Last month the International School of Panama was proud to host the 6th Annual PAIS Teachers Conference “Learning Reinvented” sponsored by the Panamanian Association of Internationally Minded Schools and the Association of American Schools in South America. The event was attended by nearly 500 teachers from ten different schools. Thanks to the support of PAIS and AASSA, the conference offered two world renowned keynote speakers, Dr. Tracey Tokuhuma-Espinosa, who spoke about the science behind how our brain learns, and Mr. Stuart Stotts, who spoke about the value of arts-integration in education.
In addition to these two fabulous key notes, the conference held 56 workshops and 22 job-alike sessions, giving teachers ample opportunities to share experiences and lessons learned throughout the full-day conference. The event was expanded beyond academic faculty, including sessions for non-academic personnel. In the future, PAIS organizers plan to include colleagues from additional non-academic areas like finance, security and human resources.
This conference was made special by the fact that the PAIS Board of Directors approved an entire day of professional development, nearly doubling the opportunities presented to attendees and capitalizing on the day. The 6th PAIS conference was also one of the “greenest” to date. The implementation of the SCHED application helped teachers get organized and lead their sessions in an eco-friendly manner.
We thank all of the participants and our sponsors including AASSA for this wonderful opportunity, and we look forward to hosting the next PAIS conference in 2020!
Author’s Bio: Vickie Swann has been the Middle School Principal at the International School of Panama since 2014, and was previously the Middle School Head at the American International School in Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam. She is currently the Chair of the PAIS (Panamanian Association of Internationally Minded Schools) Professional Development Committee and has been the lead organizer of the PAIS Annual Teachers’ Conference for the past two years.