The Learning Support/SEN SIG (Special Interest Group) organises the Learning Support Conference and holds webinars and online events in order to support our fellow ECIS educators in a variety of themes in Learning Support, Inclusive Instructional Methodology, Differentiation, Mental Health of Learners with additional learning needs and Inclusion.
SIGs are committees of up to six individuals from within ECIS membership, who are active practitioners and experts in their core areas, whether subject-specific or interdisciplinary in nature.
The goal of special interest groups is to transform practice through professional learning opportunities that feature leading practice and are evidence-led; a further goal is, where appropriate, to create research and/or research opportunities around particular problems of practice.
SIGs maintain a digital presence throughout the year on social media, and are key stakeholders in organising professional learning opportunities in collaboration with ECIS, whether at one of our conferences or at a stand-alone special interest conference, offered on a schedule agreed to by the special interest group and ECIS.
We believe in building trustful relationships with all fellow educators, providing positive and solution-focused support and communicating in an open and professional way.
We can learn from each other’s instructional strengths and experiences!
As educators, we endorse positivity, flexibility, professionalism and research-based knowledge in Inclusive Teaching and Learning.
An important note for the protection of personal GDPR data: as we discuss our experiences and professional problems ( or study scenarios and case studies ) with our members and the participants in our events, we are committed to uphold full confidentiality and to not divulge the personal information of students, parents and teachers.
SUPPORTING OUR ECIS COLLEAGUES IN:
- Understanding Learners with additional psychological, academic and social-behavioral needs.
- Identifying potential learning difficulties through the collection of evidence-based data and by collaborating with qualified Psycho-Educational evaluators.
- Applying effective interventions through an RTI (Response to Intervention) perspective.
- Supporting educators in Differentiation.
- Safeguarding the mental and physical and SEL ( social-emotional learning) wellbeing of students with special needs.
- Promoting the holistic Inclusion of all learners.
MEET THE COMMITTEE
Eleni Armaou studied Psychology, Pedagogy and Philosophy ( major in Educational Psychology) and holds a MA in Special Educational Needs from the University of Leeds, UK. She has worked in IB Schools in Istanbul, Stuttgart, and Frankfurt and is now the SOS, ALN and Counselling Coordinator and Secondary CPO, at the Metropolitan School of Frankfurt, in Germany.
Eleni is passionate about AI, Robotics, Space Travel, Quantum Physics as well as Human Psychology, Inclusive Education, Leadership and Management Studies, Negotiation Skills, CRISIS Management and Conflict Resolution.
She is a Member of ECIS SEN/Learning Support SIG and content creator for the LS/SEN SIG page. Website: special education and inclusive education email@example.com
BA Master of Arts Student Oriented Services ( SOS) and Additional Learning Needs
(ALN) Coordinator Metropolitan School of Frankfurt
Kim is the Student Services Coordinator at Canadian Academy,Kobe,Japan. Kim is passionate about creating inclusive learning communities that celebrate diversity and enrich the learning opportunities for all students. Kim has been working in International schools for over 25 years.She has worked in a variety of roles in Luxembourg, Czech Republic, Botswana, Fiji, UK, and Australia.
Sarah is the Head of Professional Learning at ECIS. In international school headship positions, she led teams who developed innovative, dual language and interlingual approaches to learning and language development. She has worked in the UK and Germany as a primary, secondary an educational support teacher (SEN), and she taught undergraduate education in London. She has worked closely with Debra Rader, co-presenting at several Intercultural Understanding Institutes. Sarah is driven by the conviction that the life-long journey of engaging with intercultural understanding is vital to our appreciation of one another.
From the classroom to the zoom calls with clients, I am a champion of well-being and growth in the midst of the many demands of education. In my coaching practice, I hold space for educators who feel too stressed out to enjoy this wonderful vocation. I teach how to implement simple practices that bring joy and allow for more authentic and conscious relationships: teacher to student, among colleagues and with the whole-school. When my clients are able to say “This is tough, but now I know that I can do this”, I know I’ve fulfilled my ikigai.
In my classroom, I make human connection the foundation of all my teaching: I celebrate and support my students holistically for who they are, in their multilingual and intercultural environment, which we call home. I had the privilege to teach many neuroatypical students (with autism, hearing impairment, language and behavioral challenges etc) and it has made me a more competent teacher and a kinder, happier human. I measure my success by how much I can learn from my little humans. What words resonated while reading this?
I’m always ecstatic to connect via mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Well-Being and Educational Coach | Founder @Educircles | Multilingual Educator | Public Speaker |Growing Kindness and Happiness in Education
Dr. Peggy Pelonis is President at the American Community Schools; a K-12 International school in Athens Greece. She is an educational leadership trainer, a licensed Family Therapist and National Certified Psychologist in the State of California and is certified in Educational Leadership from the Harvard Business School and the Harvard School of Education. Her doctoral work in Educational Leadership from the University of Bath, UK, focused on the complexities of professional development in international schools. She is devoted to facilitating positive change in people’s lives and has developed a ‘Process of Change’ Model to help individuals strengthen the skills needed to cope with life changes.
Dr. Pelonis has been on the faculty of the Master’s Psychology programs for the California State University of Fullerton, the University of LaVerne and has taught at the University of Malta. She is a transnational Psychotherapist and Educator currently on the staff of the International Committee of Adlerian Summer Schools and Institutes (ICASSI). She works with Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools as a team leader for school accreditation. Her work on international education also includes speaking engagements for the United Nations (New York), The World Innovation Summit in education (WISE) and the Alliance for International Education (AIE). She is the author of numerous professional journal articles in education and of three books on change and resilience.
Special Interest Group Chair
Mrs. Chris Perakis was raised in Newport, Rhode Island. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Elementary and Special Education from Salve Regina College and a Masters of Arts in Special Education from Lesley College. She is currently working on a postgraduate degree on Improving Student Learning and Quality of Teaching in International Schools; taking various courses. Mrs. Perakis holds several teaching certificates including certificates for teaching students in the Elementary School, as well as, teaching students with mild-moderatesevere learning differences and handicaps.
For ten years, she co organized the ACS Athens Annual Learning Differences Conference, a continuing effort to raise awareness on the subject of educating children with learning differences. Mrs. Perakis has also served as a team member on the Committee of Institution-wide Accreditation of the Middle School Association of Colleges and School (MSA), and on the study and research group at John Hopkins University for bringing the Center of Talented Youth (CTY) program to Greece. Since 2010, Mrs. Perakis has been selected to serve on The Educational Collaborative for International Schools (ECIS) Special Education Needs (SEN) Committee.
Currently she is the co chair of the SEN/ LS (Learning Support) TEAM. She is also the Vice President for the Professional Special Education Society in Greece, a founding member of the Hellenic Institute for Study and Research of Learning Disabilities and served on the IB Special Education Needs (SEN) Committee, as well as, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Education committee for Learning Differences.
Mrs. Perakis has also completed training in administering Educational and Psychological Measurements with Dr. Michael Castleberry and Dr. Imran Riaz, professors at the University of George Washington, accredited by the Buffalo State SUNY College of New York. Currently she is a consultant to support schools build up their own learning support programs, Educational & Diagnostic testing centers, as well as, audit school programs and make suggestions for best fit support services. She’s a passionate life long learner that believes that every student can reach his/her own potential given the appropriate support.
Chad Wood is the Primary Principal at Vienna International School in Vienna, Austria. Before his time as Principal, he started as a special education life skills and resource teacher in Indiana. He has experience developing inclusive special education programs, and designing inclusive spaces at international schools in Guangzhou, China, and Vienna. He is currently a PhD student at the University of San Diego, he has a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership, and a BSc in early-middle education, and K-12 special education. His areas of interest in research include: teacher agency, inclusion, and minorities in special education.
Anxieties and stress
Trauma-Informed Schools, PTSD and Covid19 Resources
References, bibliography, and books
Please note: Amazon links have been used for some of these publications, but other platforms are available. These are for reference purposes.
PREVIOUS EVENTS & WEBINARS
Our previous conference took place at the International School of Luxembourg in 2019.
Also, Professor Carol Ann Tomlinson’s presentation on Differentiation, in 2017, at the International School of Paris was a massive success and a SOLD OUT with more than 200 participants!
Since this September, we have started hosting monthly events. You can see our recent webinars (plus other relevant ECIS webinars) below: