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The Sea Change Podcast

The Sea Change Podcast

By Ellen Mahoney
Exploring the social and emotional experience of learning and development for educators and youth development professionals around the world. Join Ellen Mahoney, expert in Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and mentoring in international schools, as she interviews school and youth development leaders who share insight into the opportunities of this moment and the meaning they are making along the way.

For more resources on advisory, mentoring, and transitions support, visit
For more resources on adult SEL, visit

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S2.E1 Support for students with special needs in the international school community

The Sea Change Podcast

A Māori Perspective on Mentoring at the Western Academy of Beijing
Lis Wilson, High School Head of Student Wellbeing at the Western Academy of Beijing, shares stories from the school's innovative mentoring program and how her roots in New Zealand education has influenced her perspective on this critical SEL work.  More about Lis Wilson More about Western Academy of Beijing's Program More on Sea Change Mentoring
April 8, 2021
Love, Rigor, & Justice in our Schools: Activist and Educator Sharif El-Mekki
Sharif El-Mekki is the Founder and CEO of the Center for Black Educator Development. The Center exists to ensure there will be equity in the recruiting, training, hiring, and retention of quality educators that reflect the cultural backgrounds and share common socio-political interests of the students they serve. The Center is developing a nationally relevant model to measurably increase teacher diversity and support Black educators through four pillars: Professional Learning, Pipeline, Policies, and Pedagogy. So far, the Center has developed ongoing and direct professional learning, mentoring, and coaching opportunities for Black teachers and other educators serving students of color. The Center also carries forth the freedom or liberation school legacy by hosting Freedom School sites that incorporates research-based curricula and exposes high school and college students to the teaching profession to help fuel a pipeline of Black educators. Prior to founding the Center, El-Mekki served as a nationally recognized principal and U.S. Department of Education Principal Ambassador Fellow. His school, Mastery Charter Shoemaker, was recognized by President Obama and Oprah Winfrey, and was awarded the prestigious EPIC award for three consecutive years as being amongst the top three schools in the country for accelerating students’ achievement levels. The Shoemaker Campus was also recognized as one of the top ten middle school and top ten high schools in the state of Pennsylvania for accelerating the achievement levels of African-American students. In 2014, El-Mekki founded The Fellowship – Black Male Educators for Social Justice, an organization dedicated to recruiting, retaining, and developing Black male teachers. El-Mekki blogs on Phillys7thWard, is a member of the 8 Black Hands podcast and serves on several boards and committees focused on educational and racial justice. For more information on Adult SEL, visit Circulus Institute. For more information about mentoring and advisory programs in international schools, visit Sea Change Mentoring
March 11, 2021
Ancestor Research in History Class: Helping youth uncover untold histories
We are thrilled to have Dana Saxon on the podcast. She is an extraordinary educator with an inspiring story and mission. We have wanted to have Dana on for awhile now and we thought that February would be a perfect time. We celebrate black history month with Dana as we explore what it means for all young people to discover their roots and in particular how powerful it can be for young people who descended from the survivors of slavery.  Dana Saxon is the Founder & Executive Director of Ancestors unKnown, an education social enterprise with projects in the U.S., U.K., and the Netherlands. Ancestors unKnown provides schools, nonprofit organizations, universities, and corporations with curriculum and workshops related to family history research and other untold histories. After spending nearly 10 years in the education nonprofit sector in the U.S., Dana moved to the Netherlands in 2011 to study the significance of family history research among people in the African diaspora who descend from survivors of slavery. Since then, she’s traveled to multiple cities on multiple continents, introducing new audiences to some of the world’s untold histories and the power of family history research. Dana currently lives in Bristol, U.K., where she's planning to expand the reach and impact of Ancestors unKnown. Find her work here: Instagram: @ancestorsunknown Twitter: @AncestorsUnknwn Facebook: Website: ______ For more information on Circulus' course on resilience for school support teams, visit our website here. 
February 18, 2021
Emotional Intelligence for School Leaders & Teachers
Joshua Freedman is the CEO if Six Second and is one of the world’s preeminent experts on developing emotional intelligence to improve performance. He leads the world’s largest network of emotional intelligence practitioners, researchers, and experts, creating positive change in over 175 nations. He is one of a handful of experts in the world with over 20 years of full-time experience in this emerging field. Freedman is author of the best-selling At the Heart of Leadership, as well as The Vital Organization, and INSIDE CHANGE: Transforming Your Organization with Emotional Intelligence, Whole-Hearted Parenting, plus dozens of cases and articles including The Business Case for Emotional Intelligence, The Workplace Vitality Report, and The State of the Heart. Please see the archive of his publications on He is also coauthor of six validated psychometric assessments including the EQ Leadership Report and the Organizational Vital Signs climate measure, which form the basis of many of the case studies published here. Learn more about these powerful tools to measure what matters. __________________________________ Interested in Sea Change Mentoring's online course on advisory and mentoring? Email Ellen at Interested in Circulus Institute's course on Resilience for Student and Staff support professionals? Sign up here. 
February 11, 2021
S2.E1 Support for students with special needs in the international school community
April Remfrey is an educational consultant that focuses her time working with globally mobile families that have children with special needs when they are searching for a new school. April has also created an ILP/RTI goal documentation cloud-based program for international schools and serves on the board of directors for SENIA. She has a BA in special education and elementary education at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, USA and received a Master’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA in Exceptional Education. She has been a teacher for 20 years in three different countries and has experience in the public, private, and international school environments. Since 2013, April, her husband, and daughter have lived in the Zurich, Switzerland area. Never one to sit still, April likes to hike in the stunning Swiss Alps, cook gourmet food, and play clarinet in the local concert band Resources mentioned in this podcast: SENIA (Special Education Network & Inclusion Association) Spokle Speech Therapy Adult SEL resources and professional development  Families in Global Transition Dr. Carmit-Noa Shpigelman’s research on e-mentoring for youth with disabilities
February 4, 2021
E12: Educator Resilience - Managing stress, minimizing burnout, & planning for a better tomorrow
How did teachers, school leaders, and counselors mentally prepare for another unpredictable school year? We discuss our course Reclaiming Your Resilience,  teacher burnout, stress management, and why this work is so critical today,. We share what the research tells us and what we learned from our amazing participants around the world. Plus, we will tell you about our founding story which began when I was only 13! Bios Kristin Daniel comes to Circulus with over eighteen years of experience in education and professional development. She began her teaching career in special education in the Washington, D.C. area working with students needing learning and emotional support. She earned her doctorate at George Washington University with a focus on preparing teachers to succeed in high-need schools. During this work, she was drawn to research around teacher resilience and self-efficacy*. Her work at GW inspired her to focus on student-led, student supported instruction through teacher growth and well-being. She led an instructional coaching program through a grant with the University of Kansas, in which she coached teachers in rural schools across the country. And she directed the learning support program at The Overlake School building teacher understanding of diverse learning. As the Associate Director of Professional Development at Global Online Academy, she helped launch GOA’s professional development program to design meaningful in-person and online learning experiences. Kristin’s background allows her to bring a unique perspective to relationship-based and connected adult learning. She creates adult learning experiences that are personal and reflective, and that value critical learning and long-term growth. Kristin lives in Seattle, Washington, USA with her husband and their four-year-old son. Ellen Mahoney is an alumna of international schools and has worked in education and youth development as a teacher, counselor, and director since 1997. Her primary expertise is in youth mentoring and third culture kid development. She works through a transitions-informed lens and is an active advocate for comprehensive child-safeguarding. In 2018, she was selected to be a Council of International Schools (CIS) Affiliated Consultant. Ellen was awarded a New York City Council Citation for her work during her time as the Director of Program Quality at iMentor where she Increased the quality and quantity of support provided to 4800 participants and 16 school administrations by building and administering assessments, developing evidence-based strategies and creating internal efficiencies. She is certified in mentoring program supervision by Fordham University’s School of Social Work and Big Brothers Big Sisters and has been repeatedly invited to the Summer Institute of Youth Mentoring at Portland State University, a highly selective program that unites the world’s best youth mentoring researchers with practitioners. She is a David Pollock Scholar and an Echoing Green Semifinalist. She has served on the board of Families in Global Transitions (FIGT) and was a co-founding board member of Safe Passage Across Networks (SPAN), which facilitates the establishment of programs that address the challenges of mobility across networks of schools. Ellen’s work has been featured in publications like The Chronicle for Evidence-Based Mentoring; ECIS’s Global Insights, Ruth Van Reken and David Pollock’s Third Culture Kids, Growing up Among Worlds, 3rd Edition ; and Jo Parfitt and Terry Anne Wilson’s Monday Morning Emails.
September 22, 2020
E11 - Suicide prevention starts in kindergarten - A conversation with Dr. Steven Karaiskos
To recognize Suicide Awareness Month, we are running a series of conversations about suicide prevention, postvention. and survival. For this episode ,Dr. Steven Karaiskos of Hawken School shares how developing Social and Emotional competencies in young people is an effective approach to preventing suicide, what the research tells us about the importance of belonging when it comes to suicide prevention and what educators can do in the aftermath of a suicide to support the young people around them.  If you or a loved ones needs help please check out these resources If in the US, call: 1-800-273-8255 For a complete list of resources, please visit: Dr. Karaiskos shared the following resources with us: Coping After Suicide - the organization I am doing some consulting work with): Camp Kita - where I volunteer in the summer supporting kids who have had a loss to suicide.: Steven Karaiskos is a veteran educator and emotion scientist with experience in both independent and public schools supporting and working with learners of all ages. With 20 years of experience in education, Steven’s breadth and depth of knowledge was built through active roles in district leadership, school administration, teaching Pre-Kindergarten/Kindergarten and teaching adult learners. He has trained and mentored educators in reading, behavior management, classroom management and the support of students with learning differences. Before becoming an educator, Steven was in leadership at Starbucks Corporate. Steven has a B.A. in English, B.S. in Education, a Masters in Psychology and a PhD in Psychology with a research focus on positive psychological approaches in response to suicidal ideation. Steven has led professional development opportunities nationwide to provide learning and support for parents, educators, and students on topics such as stress & anxiety, social & emotional development, academic growth, learning differences, positive psychological approaches, gender diversity, and LGBTQ+ topics.  He is a passionate activist in suicide intervention and prevention providing suicide awareness workshops for students, schools, and organizations across the country. Steven also has a personal and professional passion for suicide postvention grief and loss support through the development and implementation of coping and resiliency programming with organizations such as Camp Kita and Coping after Suicide. Steven is currently the SEL Coordinator with the Learning Enhancement Team at a Hawken School supporting the wellness of faculty, parents, and students. He is also a professor at Cleveland State University teaching undergraduate courses in research design and personality psychology.  Steven is trained in research-based programs for schools such as Responsive Classroom and RULER from the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. A writer and a flaneur, Steven lives in in Cleveland, Ohio.
September 10, 2020
E10 - David Shapiro on youth mentoring: The power of being along for the journey
We spoke today with David Shapiro, the CEO of Mentor: The National Mentoring Partnership. Our conversation touched on the lessons that both COVID and Black Lives Matter has imparted on the youth mentoring field, the need for a collectivist approach in addressing inequity, and David's personal experience with youth mentoring.  David Shapiro's bio: Chief Executive Officer David Shapiro is CEO of MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, the national organization unifying and elevating the youth mentoring field through expertise, advocacy, and recruitment. For more than 13 years, he has dedicated his career to driving equity through the power of relationships and is a servant leader for the mentoring movement. Under Shapiro’s leadership, MENTOR has partnered with leading global brands including the NBA family, Nike, Starbucks, LinkedIn and others to expand the mentoring movement through recruitment; grew its national footprint to include 24 local Affiliates in communities nationwide; and has worked extensively with the Obama Foundation to center mentoring through My Brother’s Keeper Alliance. Additionally, the U.S Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention selected MENTOR to establish and lead the National Mentoring Resource Center. He is a husband, father, and mentor.
August 30, 2020
E9 - International School Alumni Fight to Decolonize International Schools
Clara Reynolds and Xoài David, international school alumni, are asking international schools to face their colonial roots and current practices in the spirit of anti-racism and decolonization. Listen to their stories of how their perspectives changed about the IB and International schools once they left school and moved on to university.  Organisation to Decolonise International Schools Twitter, Instagram: @decolonise_intl Clara Reynolds is co-founder of ODIS, she is currently studying for a BSc in Biomedical Science at the University of Sheffield. She graduated with an IB diploma from Tashkent International School in 2017. Clara is of Portuguese and British parents, and so far has lived in four countries: the UK, Germany, Uzbekistan, and the Netherlands. Xoài David is co-founder of ODIS, a Paris-based book design student, writer and budding vlogger. Born of Vietnamese and French parents, Xoài has grown up in eight countries including Uzbekistan, Ghana, and Indonesia, and graduated with an IB diploma from Shanghai United International School in 2017.
August 29, 2020
E8 - The Asian experience of racist & cultural hierarchies in international schools
Danau Tanu, author of Growing Up in Transit: The Politics of Belonging at an International School, discusses the Asian experience of racism and cultural hierarchies in international schools and what teachers, school leaders, students, and alumni can do about it. Danau is an anthropologist who spent one year embedded in an international high school in Indonesia where she researched these themes and the nuanced experience of the Asian third culture kid. . Danau Tanu, PhD, is an anthropologist and the author of Growing Up in Transit: The Politics of Belonging at an International School, the first book on systemic racism in international schools. She is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia and was recently awarded a Japan Foundation Fellowship for postdoctoral research at Waseda University for 2021. Danau is Co-Chair of the FIGT Research Network and co-founder of TCKs of Asia. You can purchase her book and redeem 25% off by going to her website here:
July 23, 2020
E7 - Is racism & white supremacy different in the expat, third culture, globally mobile world?
When Doni Aldine interviewed Robin DiAngelo, the author of White Fragility, for her Magazine, Culturs, Robin posed a question to Doni. "Does the problem of white fragility and supremacy apply to the globally mobile, international community?" At first, Doni answered, "It's different."" There was a long pause and then Robin responded, "I think it's the same." That moment led Doni on a nine month journey of introspection, research and critical analysis of the the expat, third culture, globally mobile world. In this podcast, we discuss some of the ideas she has been exploring and the stories featured in Culturs Magazine's lates issue, "It's Time to Change." We use the following terms in this podcast: Third Culture Kid (TCK): a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents’ culture(s). Cross Cultural Kid (CCK): a person who grew up among many cultural environments for any reason. We refer to book, White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo Doni (Dah-knee) Aldine's Bio: A globally mobile Afro-Latina and first-generation North American who, by age 19, lived in & identified with seven cultures on five continents. Aldine is passionate about creating community for cross-cultural populations. She has presented around the globe as a Keynote, at conferences, universities & in media as a lifestyle expert focused on entrepreneurship, marketing & cross-cultural identity. With this background, she developed university curricula for global culture identity. Aldine uses her global, multi-cultural background, academic training, and career experience in media, management and business to position CULTURS as the first-ever digital-first print publication & product marketplace of its kind - one that addresses global and mobile cultural identities, with emphasis on hidden diversity. About Culturs: Culturs celebrates cross-cultural and intersectional identity: Because everyone should feel like they matter. Our content focus is 21st Century Diversity (a culturally fluid outlook that embodies a vision of the world that fast is becoming our future). We reach 1.26 million people through a print magazine distributed in Barnes and Noble, Whole Foods, Books-a-Million, Sprouts, and independent bookstores; a digital magazine, an online magazine, mobile publication, email list of 500,000, and the soon-to-launch CultursTV with more than 220 videos on Youtube. The missing "e" in Cultur[e]s represents the often-hidden diversities of Culturs’ audience. Our content sits at the intersection of social justice, geographic mobility, and people of color and the publication was founded to give voice to immigrants, refugees, intersectional identities (multiethnic, multiracial, multicultural), and other culturally-fluid underserved populations. We do this by producing lifestyle content that celebrates the very fluidity that most people ignore -- the cultural fluidity that represents the voice of the future -- and brings that into the mainstream. Subscribe or purchase: DIGITAL EDITIONS: FREE ARTICLES ONLINE/FREE RESOURCE SIGNUP:
July 16, 2020
E6 - The Black TCK experience and racism in International Schools
Today we interview Amanda Bates, the founder and creative director of The Black Expat. We have a candid conversation about how international schools can improve the way they serve students of color, the untold stories of black TCKs, and Amanda's own experience growing up as a black TCK in both black majority and black minority countries.  We use the following terms in this podcast: Third Culture Kid (TCK): a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents’ culture(s). Cross Cultural Kid (CCK): a person who grew up among many cultural environments for any reason. Amanda Bates' bio: Raised bi-culturally in the United States and Cameroon, Amanda started navigating multicultural environments at a young age. As a counselor, she helps young people and the young at heart figure out the right professional choices for them.  Amanda is also the founder and creative director of The Black Expat, a digital platform focused on black identity + international living.
July 11, 2020
E5: When COVID-19 lands on a school's doorstep in Italy, community wellbeing becomes the top priority
We interview Iain Sachdev, the head of school at the International School of Monza in Milan, Italy. We talk about prioritizing wellbeing in order for learning to flourish, the power of relationships and connectedness in school communities, and the evolving role that parents play in education during COVID-19 and, perhaps, in the future of education. You can read more about the International School of Monza and Iain Sachdev in these recent articles in Quartz Magazine and the Express and Star.  Express and Star: Quartz Magazine: Iain mentions Sea Change Mentoring's "Ten Strategies for Educator Wellbeing: A Handbook for Schools During the COVID-19 Outbreak". You can access it for free here. 
April 29, 2020
E4: International collaboration among public, independent, & international teachers: The Global Educator Collaborative on Facebook
We speak with Kirsten Durward, the founder of the 125,000 member Global Educator Collective group on Facebook (formerly known as the Educator Temporary School Closure for Online Learning). Kirsten talks about how to build a positive online community, what collaboration looks like across countries and schools systems, and the lessons and inspirations that have come out of this growing community.  Kirsten participated in the ISS Educator to Educator Assessment Webinar on Wednesday 15th April - to view the recording check the ISS site. She is hosting a webinar on addressing Primary Transdisciplinary units through the lens of Current Affairs on Saturday 25 April at 3 pm GMT via Toddle Talks, with a recording available on Toddle Learning Library.  She is working with the team at to create The Inquiry Educator Summit (virtual) in May. To be added to a mailing list for this free event or future webinars and events via the Global Educator Collective please fill in the short form For resources and support, please visit our website at Kirsten Durward's Bio Kirsten is the busy admin of the Global Educator Collective, a group set up to support the transition to online learning, which has become the place to be for international collaboration on learning strategies.  The group has now been offered a strategic partnership by Facebook as a constructive sustainable community and was recommended by International Education in a special report to UNESCO as a core resource in supporting the transition to emergency remote learning. Kirsten considers herself a global citizen, having lived in 17 countries from her childhood in Kenya, the Middle East and Europe through her extensive career as an international educator and volunteer, she has been privileged to learn from many cultures, situations and perspectives. Mostly her learning has encouraged her to be compassionate, grateful and open minded to ideas! Currently the PYP Coordinator at KIS International School in Bangkok, Kirsten is in the process of forming a Learning Focused Education Consultancy and a Global Educator Development platform in partnership with many leading international educators.  With leadership experience in 5 schools, her focus is working with educators to improve learning. An IB workshop leader, Concept based Curriculum Trainer and Cognitive Coach she offers years of expertise in Positive Pedagogy, Constructive Inquiry, Assessment Driven Learning, Transdisciplinary Learning and Curriculum Design. You can find her through her Facebook group, on Linked In or via Twitter @learnerfocused
April 16, 2020
E3: Supporting Mental Health and Wellbeing in International Schools and Universities
We speak with Katie Rigg, the Head of Safeguarding & Student Well-being at the Council of International Schools. We discuss the difference between wellbeing and mental health, the state of mental health in schools before COVID-19 and what has changed now that we are living and working during this pandemic.  To learn more about the Council of International Schools and to explore the support that the Council of International Schools is providing schools and universities at this time, visit their website. To find more support for schools and educators, visit If you are feeling hopeless, this is an indicator that you need to seek professional help and you need to talk with your loved ones about your feelings. Here are some trusted professionals and organizations that you can turn to. Please don’t try to get through this alone. International Therapists Directory  (therapists familiar with the issues of expatriates and third culture kids and families)T The Truman Group (therapists offering remote psychotherapy, specializing in the international community) United Kingdom – Shout Text HELLO or START to 85258 Australia – Lifeline (available 6:00pm–Midnight (AEST), 7 days a week Text 0477 13 11 14 Canada – Crisis Text Line Text HOME to 686868 United States – CrisisTextLine Text HOME to 741741 Katie Rigg's bio Katie’s primary responsibility is to help CIS and school and university members to keep children and young people safe and to support and strengthen their mental health and well-being. In this capacity Katie carries out and supports research into new areas, develops resources, provides guidance and oversees professional development. Prior to joining CIS Katie worked as a safeguarding and employment lawyer in London, where she helped her law firm to establish its Safeguarding Unit in May 2015. In that role Katie helped schools, universities and other organisations to prevent and respond effectively to harm and abuse. Katie has also worked in the areas of human rights and public interest law in Argentina and Hungary. Katie is currently undertaking a professional doctorate at the International Centre for Research into Child Sexual Exploitation, Violence and Trafficking, focusing on how schools can build effective responses to abuse and harm between students. After graduating with a first class degree in history and political science from Trinity College, Dublin, Katie studied international public law at the University of Cordoba, Argentina and subsequently completed a law degree in England. Katie speaks fluent French and Spanish.
April 9, 2020
E2: Best Practices in Online Learning During COVID19 from Global Online Academy
We speak with Michael Nachbar about his years of experience running one of the top blended learning organizations in our community. He shares with us the insights he has gleaned along the way, both for remote teams and remote learning.  You can check out the resources that we discussed in this episode at: Join us as we speak with Michael Nachbar, expert in online learning.  Michael is the Executive Director of Global Online Academy, a pioneering network of schools and educators reimagining learning to empower students and educators to thrive in a globally networked society. Michael is a frequent speaker and workshop facilitator at national and international conferences, and presents on such topics as educational trends impacting schools, modern teaching and learning, and global education. Michael is an active board member for several education organizations, including the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), Independent School Association Network (ISAnet), and Jump! Foundation. He has served as a founding board member of the Mastery Transcript Consortium, as well as for Summer Search. You can follow Michael on Twitter at @michaelnachbar.
March 29, 2020
E1: Crisis Response for Schools and Educators
We speak with Dr. Suzanne Anderson, psychotherapist and expert in crisis response for schools. Dr. Anderson has been working with schools and the international community for the last 20 years and is currently supporting international schools facing the Coronavirus pandemic.  She is the author of several articles circulating the international school world, including: The Danger and Opportunity of Covid-19 for International School Educators Understanding the Mental Health & Social Impact of the Coronavirus: Finding the Middle Path Alongside the National Organization for Victim's Assistance, she recently co-hosted  the webinar, "Covid-19: The Mental Health Impact & Resilience for International Educators", which reached educators in over 17 countries. You can find her work at We. mentioned this Facebook group in the episode and this book, SuperSurvivors You can learn more about Sea Change Mentoring's work and find additional resources related to COVID-19 at Speaker Bio: Suzanne M. Anderson, DPST, MSS, RSW – 0145, CCR Dr. Anderson is a psychotherapist in private practice with Restorative Community Counselling (a service of Restorative Community Concepts) in Singapore where she has lived and worked since 1999. Suzanne is a certified NOVA crisis responder and trainer. Over more than 20 years, Suzanne has trained crisis responders and responded to crises in the United States, Canada, Yugoslavia, Singapore, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Myanmar. Incidents to which Suzanne has responded include natural disasters, industrial accidents and intentional-harm incidents (i.e. industrial plant explosion, hurricane, tornado, plane crash, earthquake, cyclone, tidal surge, tsunami, terrorist attacks, drowning, school-based crises, suicides as well as working with war refugees). Suzanne has provided crisis responder training and supervision for local, national businesses and primary, secondary and tertiary educational institutions. Suzanne’s doctoral research focused on investigating the impact of trauma on women trafficked and sexually exploited in the Mekong countries and applying the research results to the development of training for aftercare workers.
March 22, 2020