These three-hour long workshops will be held on Saturday 17 April 2021 before the main conference begins. They are designed for educators seeking to enhance their professional and leadership skills. Each workshop provides attendees with the necessary skills to be successful leaders during this time of uncertainty and change in education.

The pre-conference workshops are interactive and in-depth, allowing attendees to build skills that can be implemented in their local contexts. In contrast, breakout sessions are designed to be snapshots of targeted content related to the conference theme that serve as a portion of the larger conference schedule. These presentations are relevant to the needs of schools and school communities, expanding on what educators have learned through practical implementation.

Attendees must register for the main conference and add the pre-conference workshops to their registration. Pre-conference workshops are not sold separately.

Workshops will be available in the morning and afternoon. All workshops will be in English. 
Participants can attend one workshop in the morning as well as one in the afternoon. The cost of registration is 75 USD per workshop. 

Morning workshops 9am – 12pm 

Building a high-performance team (CLOSED)

Presenter: Gina Phan

High performing schools are made up of high performing individuals. These schools have leaders who create an environment and establish values that make high performance possible. A high-performance team is one that outperforms other teams through outstanding team dynamics—outstanding results are attained, each member is accountable and committed, differences in the team are addressed and leveraged, and trust levels are high. High-performance teams lead to the best outcomes for students and support the well-being of educators.

Is there an absence of trust in your team, a fear of conflict, a lack of commitment, an avoidance of accountability or an inattention to results? If the answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you may be hampered by team dysfunction.

This workshop aims to equip teaching or non-teaching leaders, as well as new or aspiring middle leaders, with the skills needed to develop stronger teams for greater impact and results. Learn how to:

  • recognize the traits of a high-performance team
  • assess team cohesion and identify dysfunctions
  • build trust within the team
  • uncover differences and manage conflict in the team
  • develop commitment in the team and in individuals
  • maximize member contributions by leveraging strengths
  • establish a rhythm of accountability to deliver results.

Making decisions in the face of uncertainty

Presenter: Paul Ch’ng 

COVID–19 has raised a myriad of decisions for school leaders to make; how to prioritize the school community’s safety and health; how to ensure that teachers and education support staff have the support, protection and tools they need to work effectively; how to keep students engaged; how to keep the schools in business, in demand and relevant; and many more.

The challenge is that decisions today need to be made more quickly, often in the face of pressure, uncertainty and risks. Can there be sound judgment with insufficient data and precedence? How can we generate credible options? How do we manage the possible implications of our decisions? Leaders need to be equipped to deal with these challenges and make sound, timely decisions.

This workshop aims to provide teaching and non-teaching leaders with research-based techniques for making decisions even when facing the unknown. We will explore the following.

  • The role of judgment in the face of risk and uncertainty
  • The art, science and craft of decision-making and when to use them
  • Assumptions and biases, and how to manage them more effectively
  • How to generate new alternatives to enhance decision quality
  • How to identify risks associated with the decisions and develop mitigation plans
  • How to manage group decision-making for more productive outcomes.

Mental toughness: The key to safeguarding mental health

Presenter: Edgar Tham 

The COVID–19 pandemic has disrupted the way schools operate and how students learn. Studies show that fear, anxiety and social isolation act as additional stressors to students and this negatively affects the mental health and overall academic performance of many students. This information-rich webinar provides educators with the following.

  • Research background on (1) mental toughness and its relationship with mental health and (2) how mental toughness can support overall student performance
  • The five mental responses to pressure—composure, concentration, confidence, coping ability and cohesion
  • Why participation in sport and physical activity matters even more during this pandemic
  • Science-backed strategies and tips to help safeguard students’ mental health
  • An understanding of the basic skills of mental toughness—self-talk, visualization and goals—and its application
  • How to craft and develop audio scripts for mental toughness skills (e.g. relaxation exercises, mindfulness exercises) for students.

Afternoon workshops 1pm – 4pm

Navigating the new norm with partnerships

Presenter: Teck Beng Tan 

COVID–19 took the world by surprise. Everything changed overnight—the way we interact, how we manage our schools and how children are educated. As we find our way in the new normal, it is imperative to collaborate and form partnerships with those around us. Partnerships complement, strengthen and equip us to navigate unfamiliar terrain more effectively.

Collaboration underpins and is at the heart of school improvement initiatives. How does collaboration relate and contribute to best practice in teaching and learning? How do stakeholders collaborate—about what, with whom—and what are the outcomes of collaboration?

This workshop expounds on a time-tested approach for forming collaborative relationships. It provides participants with a process and the skills for connecting more effectively with stakeholders, leaders and peers to arrive at mutually productive outcomes.

The workshop will cover.

  • Challenges in the post-COVID–19 era
  • Attitudes, ideas and strategies to deal with a black swan event
  • The role of partnerships and collaboration in the new age
  • Knowing your strengths and unique selling point (USP)
  • Applying the principles of collaboration
  • Supporting colleagues with collaborative empathy
  • Managing expectations of parents and students as partners
  • The adept collaborator: the administrator and educator of the future.

Strategic drivers for leaders

Presenter: Jackie Lee 

The education market is evolving fast and becoming highly differentiated. Twenty years ago, the market of education offerings was relatively narrow; today it is broad, deep and increasingly differentiated. Most schools—public, private, charter and all kinds of new models that did not exist a decade ago—must now compete in this market space. Competition for students has never been tougher, and that is not going to change.

As well as managing operational demands, leaders in education must view their organizations through strategic lenses. It is imperative for businesses to develop workable strategies to remain relevant, to grow and to be profitable. Yet what drives strategic success?

This workshop provides leaders in education with the strategic drivers of success and equips them with a proven process for setting direction, developing a workable strategy and aligning the entire organization towards achieving its goals.

Discover the strategic drivers for success and how to:

  • create a sense of urgency and overcome complacency towards strategic change
  • pull together and manage the steering team
  • set a compelling vision with the team
  • develop the strategy by assessing internal and external drivers
  • communicate the vision and strategy for buy-in and action
  • execute the strategy effectively
  • maintain the momentum of change until completion.


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